Up-and-comers/good friends the Wild and Run, Forever collaborated on a split last summer, contributing two songs each to a limited edition seven-inch for Solidarity Recordings. Of course, fans can always get the songs via opened donations via the Interwebs. But then, they’d miss out on the split’s physical properties.
Included with the split is a zine put together by the bands. There are some pictures and lyrics included, as well as an essay from a member of each group. The Wild’s Dianna Settles delivers a lengthy piece that can only be called “aggressively politically correct.” She lays down the law; keep your stereotyping, ignorance and hatred out of punk rock. Sometimes it gets a little tedious reading her list every possible form of intolerance over and over, from sexism to homophobia to ageism to ableism (Can’t we just put everything down under “douchebaggery” after the first reference, or could that be misconstrued as sexist?), but she also gives some basic approaches towards building up a community through tolerance and like-minded goals, so if it changes people’s ideas of acceptable behavior, I’m for it. Run, Forever’s essay on ageism is only a page long, and while I don’t entirely agree with the group’s reasoning for supporting all-ages shows (21+ shows never stopped me from having my straight edge fun, is all I’m saying), I still respect the sentiment that going to shows is, ya know, a good thing.
…oh right, there’s music included too. The Wild goes first with two harmonica-laden folk-punk ditties. “Street Names” and “To Be Content” showed up on the group’s semi-recent compilation for Asian Man Records, and the tracks were highlights both there and here. “To Be Content” is a DIY mission statement: “Waiting for revolution from another’s hands / Ends right now.” Like Settles writes in her essay, you have to be the change you want to see.
Not that it’s a competition, but Run, Forever has the slight edge here. “Silver Screens” is a solid rocker coupled with lyrics about refusing to break under overwhelming odds. “Young Pioneers” is even better. It’s basically an anthem for several things: DIY, all-ages shows, making it through the year. Every line is defiant, but here’s my favorite: “For better or worse / This is the family we’ll create.” Sprinkled with some “whoas,” “Young Pioneers” is what future generations may call “the good shit.”