DUKES OF HILLSBOROUGH, THE/ ALTAIRA: Sometimes You Eat the Bar, Sometimes the Bar Eats You: CD

The Dukes of Hillsborough play a heavy blend of melodic hardcore. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a band opening for Hot Water Music. A few people whose musical taste I respect have recommended the Dukes of Hillsborough to me, and I notice that, whenever they make the recommendation, they add that the Dukes are really good guys. After listening to the four songs on the split, I think that I’d probably like the Dukes a lot better if they were my friends and I was watching them live and I was drunk. With nothing but this recording to go on, I’m not wild over it. The Altaira half of the split picks things up considerably. I’ve been listening to these guys since their guitar player, J., sent me their demo to review. I liked the demo and things just keep getting better. They owe a lot to Tiltwheel, musically speaking, but they’ve branched out enough on their own to avoid being a Tiltwheel clone. Still, they get Davey to sing a song on this split, and Altaira lay down five solid songs that make this split worth it for their half, alone.

 –sean (A.D.D.)