I hate to simplify the role of the split 7”—they’re about way more than this, in truth—but one of the greatest purposes the split 7” plays is in introducing yourself to new bands. Most of the time, the pairings are based on similar sounds or friendships and it’s a good way to branch out and find new groups. This split from Casual and Crybaby is one such example. Having only a passing familiarity with Crybaby—I caught them at Fest 12 but didn’t pick anything up because I didn’t want to carry a 7” around all day—this record is really introducing two bands, both solid and well paired. Oh, and then there’s the whole “Wax Pack Series” idea: in short, customers buy a pack of 1, 5 or 10 7-inches in the series without knowing what’s included. The gimmick is to create a set, a la baseball cards. As a reviewer, though, I didn’t have to go through that hassle to get what I wanted. I just shot off an email.
Crybaby are an intriguing group. They play mid-tempo punk influenced by the more emotional, Gainesville-type bands out there. The vocals are rough and raspy and it’s got a lot of guitar interplay that finds a subtle melody but doesn’t let it loose until the chorus. They don’t, however, go for the one-two punch, instead cresting the emotional energy without the consequent tidal wave. It’s steady and contemplative; well plotted, but still concise with epic moments.
Casual work side B. They’re a bit more direct in approach, but with somewhat slacker-styled vocals that lie atop the 4/4 beat while the winding of the guitars drives the song to lyrics like “the world makes me hate everything.” Really positive stuff. It’s a nice pairing with Crybaby in that both bands vocalists are similar timbres and the tempos are also a nice match, hitting somewhere in the middle with a tendency to pick it up a touch when needed. Of course, they blur those lines between bands even more as two of the four songs here are covers—each band playing one another’s songs.
7.0 / 10
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