To coincide with their romp across Europe, the split 7” from Brendan Kelly And The Wandering Birds and Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room, European Vacation, doesn’t cover much ground, but packs a hell of a lot in a short span. Those familiar with the two musicians won’t be surprised by either of their respective songs, but both leave their past projects behind in lieu of less chartered territory. However, their distinctive voices ensure each song is very much their own and it’s refreshing to hear old favourites in new light.
Dan Andriano starts things off with “The Radiator,” an acoustic-driven ode to the ups and downs of life. While simple in delivery, it’s an impeccably written song, dropping the incessant darkness inherent in the Alkaline Trio for more positive lights. With the help of a tambourine and his smooth, expressive voice, Andriano conjures images of sunshine and better days to come.
Brendan Kelly continues his study into the seedy underbelly of our society first explored on his debut with The Wandering Birds, I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever, with the grungy “Malthusian Clown.” Sounding more deranged than ever, Kelly quickly jumps into a rollicking narrative of a downtrodden soul who’s accepted existential defeat and is content in their own miserable world. Employing a full band, accentuated with the high notes of a piano breaking through the glow, “Malthusian Clown” rambles along at a dancin’, drinkin’ pace and is the more exciting of the two songs.
While both tracks vary greatly in delivery, European Vacation is a damn enjoyable 7” of tried and tested talent. Both Andriano and Kelly hit their strides, coming across as incredibly comfortable with their individual songs and the result is a solid release from the two punk heavyweights. With almost 20 years of experience for each of them, it seems neither is slowing down any time soon.
8.0 / 10
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