A limited edition split of two not-super-active bands that are Fest staples for this writer, this EP from No Idea Records combines Seattle’s Dead Bars and Tampa’s The Tim Version head to head, or head to ass or however literally one takes the physical conceptualization of a 7”.
Dead Bars get the A-side here and it’s not my favorite of their work. “No Tattoos” has a nice metaphor at play but the mid-tempo aspect highlights the repetitive structure and lyrics. Their other track is a cover of “Hangin’ on the Telephone,” originally by Blondie. While it’s fine, it’s basically a faster (and keyboard free) version of an ‘80s pop song. If you don’t care for the original, this one is tolerable. If you like the original, this one is probably tolerable (and a little more masculine). Overall, Dead Bars side is fairly forgettable.
As for The Tim Version, they kick it into gear with “Otto,” a slow start, fast build burner of a song with a singalong chorus that blending universal concepts of alienation and misunderstanding in a personal tone. It’s what the band does best and it works magically here. It only gets better with “Sounds Like the Pixies to Me” where they rip of a few minor chords from, yep, The Pixies but it’s another throatshredding singalong that’s punk at heart with a general fuck-the-world cathartic vibe.
While I typically enjoy both bands, on this release Dead Bars have a “bonus track” feel that’s common on 7”s, while The Tim Version bring their A-game on the B-side.
7.5 / 10
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