Navel: Ever see a band split in two, like a musical amoeba, right in the middle of a song by the sheer weight of their musical differences? That’s what I feel with Navel; like half of the band wants to play straight-ahead punk and the other half wants to play indie rock. The result is something that satisfies neither. Sorry, Japan. Fifth Hour Hero: They made me a believer with their Not Revenge… LP, and in LP length, FHH shine due to them plowing a large landscape into shape (melodic, power punk) and filling in the details with a light hand (the quieter parts of Discount), which provided it an overall epic quality. These two songs could be sequenced into that LP to great result. But, here’s the weird thing. The two songs—a long, multi-part song and an acoustic ballad—hanging out by themselves, all lonely and alone on one side of a 7”, sound like orphans. Sorry, Canada.
–todd (Snuffy Smiles)