White Flag: I’m not gonna wax poetic about the recent death White Flag’s guitarist Bill Bartel (aka “Pat Fear”). Suffice to say some thought he was the bee’s knees, some would’ve loved to see his head mounted on a pike at various points during the last four decades. Though we shared common acquaintances and at one point even wrote for the same publication, I can’t say (at least with any certainty—again, suffice to say, a beer-saturated memory is highly unreliable) I never met the vato, so I can’t weigh in on either side of that conversation. I can, however, say, I did dig his band in its various permutations—piss-take pseudo-hardcore, pop, rock, and beyond—and the three tracks here serve as a fitting swan song, if it is, indeed, such. Two are loud punk/pop stompers with hook up the hoo-haw, and a third that sounds like it would also fit that description if it weren’t backwards. Shoplifters: Their poppy rock thang ain’t quite my bag o’ worms, but I can appreciate the work they put into crafting the two tunes they contribute here, with “Carnivore Heart” being the more peppier, and more memorable of the two. Don’t envy ‘em sharing this split, but they do their best to hold their own.
–jimmy (Rad Girlfriend)