SPECIAL GUEST / NOT HALF BAD: Split: CD

Now this is the punk rock that this dad wants in his Christmas stocking! This is an oblong split of sorts from two Ft. Worth bands: eight songs by Special Guest, and four by Not Half Bad. Both bands are poppy, but not overly slick and certainly not overproduced. Not Half Bad is a bit more confrontational, less poppy, and more folksy (but in a great way). Lyrical content: songs about punk rock and the DIY spirit, for the most part. I like Special Guest a little better than Not Half Bad, but that’s only because I like the sound of Special Guest’s vocalist better (snottier and not as throaty). That’s just personal taste, however; either of these bands could challenge the pack’s alpha male.

 –Eric Carlson (Self released)