Dirtnap has pulled off a masterstroke in combining Low Culture and Needles//Pins on this split. Both bands are similar yet dissimilar enough in their respective sounds to allow for two distinctive, and thoroughly enjoyable, sides. The similarity is provided via a quality which flirts with lo-fi without losing too much of the high fidelity that makes the fuzzed-up guitar a key element for each band. Low Culture offers a slightly more atmospheric pair of songs with the echoic vocals sitting back in the mix and aiding a nippy surf feel to the tracks. Needles//Pins is a bit more to the point and in your face using a snottiness that wouldn’t be out of place on early Screeching Weasel releases. Both bands produce one track verging on the realms of genius with Low Culture’s “Revolutions” equaling anything from its album Screens—one of my favorite records of the last five years—with Needles//Pins supplying a magical riff and lyric combo on “Bored” that gets me all revved up and ready to go.
–Rich Cocksedge (Dirtnap, [email protected], dirtnaprecs.com)