ALTAIRA/WATCH IT BURN: Split 7”

While this outing from Altaira isn’t quite as jaw-dropping as their split with Blotto! (mostly due to minor inconsistencies between the songs, both in production and attack; one of the songs is new and the other was recorded back in 2002), it’s still excellent. Taking the anthemic qualities and gravel-in-the-throat approach of Hot Water Music and laying it above tunes that would be right at home on the Insurgent discography, it’s only slightly embarrassing to say that these dudes are shaping up to be one of my favorite bands after only hearing four goddamn songs from them. As far as Watch It Burn goes, does anyone remember that 10” by Ruth Ruth that Epitaph co-released with Deep Elm back in the mid ‘90s? Well, don’t tell anyone, but I actually liked that record. I still like it. Watch It Burn takes the best elements of that album, combines it with the vocal stylings of Weston and/or Sticks And Stones, smartens it up, and makes sure to throw in some piano wire and duct tape in there; the end result is something that’s simultaneously ragged and hanging by a thread and also infinitely listenable and catchy. I swear, I get a couple 7”s in the mail and I’m reminded that there are still a few stunning, passionate, kickass bands out there ripping shit up in a genre that most of us wrote off ten or fifteen years ago.

 –keith (Accident Prone)