CREDENTIALS, THE / STEELHORSE: Split: 7”

The Credentials: One of my original complaints about The Credentials (on their first LP) was that while, sure, their brand of scrappy punk that took cues from ‘90s Bay Area bands like Crimpshrine and Fifteen in addition to peers like Witches With Dicks was pleasant enough, it wasn’t particularly memorable. I took that record off the turntable and immediately forgot how any of the songs I had just heard went. But, as it often goes, it seemed that the band got stronger and stronger with each release. And this, their final release, is probably their best batch of songs. Too bad, as their trajectory leads me to believe they would have continued to grow by leaps and bounds had they stuck together. Aw well. Steelhorse: Poorly recorded (though I’m totally not complaining) punk rock. The first song reminds me of old Against Me! while the second is a bit more mid-tempo and “gruff.” Overall, a solid release worth seeking out.

 –Chris Mason (Rad Girlfriend / Mindless)