Dowsing/ Haverford/ Run, Forever/ Captain, We're Sinking - Stay Sweet Fest Split
Release Date: April 11, 2013
Record Label: Soft Speak Records
It's hard to explain how much different bands mean to different people. We can all say we love a particular band but we can't really fully express what it is about each band's particular take on combining chords and lyrics that can make us fall in love with them or make us run away from the speakers, covering our ears and trying to unhear (you never can unhear). So, on the rare occasion that two particular bands release a split, and you're madly in love with both of them, the excitement is immeasurable. When four bands that you adore release together, you might as well say goodbye to every other release in your possession and lock yourself in a room, having only the 4 way split at hand and a really big bag of nachos, for the rest of forever.
It's with this in mind that I went into the Stay Sweet Fest Split. Four tracks, four bands and a whole load of emo goodness. These bands are the big names of tomorrow, Run, Forever, Haverford, Dowsing and Captain, We're Sinking - it's like a roll call of the best names in the sadness business. And, this split certainly lives up to the levels of excellence we've come to expect from the band's individual releases. The split kicks off with Dowsing's "Just Say When", a mid tempo introduction which sets the release off in a suitably downbeat mood. Whilst not the most memorable track, the understated hook of 'it wasn't supposed to be like this', holds resonance and Dowsing's delivery is dripping in integrity and a quietly hard-hitting lyrical theme. It almost commands an early Modest Mouse/Built To Spill-esque feel, and it's a perfect opener.
Haverford's "Memo" brings the mood down that little bit more. Although quite simple in its instrumentation, the often gruff yet sweetly crooned vocals are wonderfully distinct and the track would sit comfortably within Transit's Listen And Forgive. Run, Forever's "Braddock Beach" is probably the most instantly striking track. There is the possibility that Japandroids' music is constantly in my mind, but the song has more than an echo of Celebration Rock to it. Bombastic, triumphant and anthemic this is what pop punk is meant to be. Whilst its not the catchiest of tunes, the music speaks for itself and needs no generic ‘whoas’ or pop chorus to earn itself repeat listens.
Closing track, Captain, We’re Sinking’s “Judge” is an acoustic, sad ‘un with somewhat peculiar lyrics which rely pretty heavily on religious imagery. Peculiar isn’t a bad thing, however, and teamed with an impassioned, raw delivery, it makes for a powerful, incredibly sad close to the split. The higher the vocals get, the quicker the goosebumps come and it’s a beautiful song which ends an amazing release.
It seems in the last while the scene has lost some of its most beloved bands to bad albums and missteps, but let there be no worries that there is more than enough up and coming groups to not only fill their shoes but become even more beloved. This split is a showcase of four of those bands. Mark my words, Haverford, Dowsing, Captain, We’re Sinking and Run, Forever will be the names that lead to anticipation and devoted fanbases within the next couple of years. Another stellar release which proves that there’s no better time to be a fan in this scene. Aside from that, proceeds from the split benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, so not only is it a necessary release, it’s for a good cause. Looking for a new favourite band? Check this out.
Thanks, for the awesome review. Any copies that dont sell will be posted online at softspeakrecords.storenvy.com
All the proceeds go to a really good cause and its on 12" translucent blue vinyl!
really excited this got posted and that people are interested in this little project I started to benefit a cause close to my heart