May 08, 2013

I awaited this split with eager anticipation, and it did not disappoint. I loved Deafheaven’s debut Road to Judah, but I was a bit skeptical when I heard that their side of this split was a pair of Mogwai covers. Leave it to Deafheaven to give me a new appreciation for a band I previously couldn’t care less about. These covers of “Punk Rock” and “Cody,” surpass even the originals. Taking the subdued Mogwai originals, Deafheaven gave the songs teeth. They turned the levels up a bit, to allow in some extra fuzz, and replaced Mogwai vocalist Stuart Braithwait’s subdued vocals with George Clarke’s banshee howls. This record was my first encounter with Bosse-De-Nage, after hearing much hype, and they totally owned their side of the record with the track, “A Mimesis of Purpose.” The string arrangement at the intro creates a somber mood, before the track explodes with blast of guitars and drums. I worried Bosse-De-Nage might be overshadowed by Deafheaven, but they more than held their own, bringing a passion and intensity to their music rivaling their record-mate. The packaging on this was minimal, but high quality, and the vinyl itself was a purple marble swirl, showing the high standards label The Flenser has become known for. It takes a lot for a release to impress me, but I’m totally impressed by both bands on this.

 –Paul J. Comeau (Flenser, [email protected])