While wondering around the Vans Warped Tour in Pittsburgh PA in a drunken/ stoned celebratory haze on my birthday, Aug. 13th, I happened to spy this C.D. for sale at the Alkaline Trio tent. As a huge fan of the Trio, as well as Mr. Seconds work in early 7 Seconds, I had been eagerly anticipating this album. I had been under the impression that it would not be on sale until late Sept., so having the opportunity to purchase it early was a pleasant surprise. After the show, I freed the C.D. from it's plastic prison and slipped it into my friend's truck's C.D. player on the way home.
There are 10 songs on the album, with Matt Skiba having the first five, and Kevin Seconds playing the last five. As I mentioned earlier, I am a big fan of the amazing Alkaline Trio, and Matt Skiba's singing and song writing in particular. His first song on the split "Good Fucking Bye" absolutey blew me away, and sets the tone for the rest of the album. A story of the aftermath of a relationship gone wrong told in a poetic way that only Skiba could manage: "I'm tired of being bored/I'm through with the headaches/and hiding my hands that tremble like earthquakes/under the table/under the daytime sky/good fucking bye" This is probably my favorite track on the C.D., it expresses feelings of relief at the ending of a bad romantic relationship that I'm sure almost anyone could relate to. Matt's next song "The City that day" is much more upbeat musically, and although a good song, it is probably my least favorite on the album. The next song "Next to you" begins with an almost hypnotic guitar and bass line, and a strange scratching sound in the backround like an old record that has been played too many times. once again the lyrics express bittersweet feelings of gratitude toward a lover that may be long gone: "Don't cry/ or stop to wonder why/ we crashed down like thunder/ on the floor/ or down from the ceiling/ it's been nice waking up next to you" "In Your Wake" brilliantly continues this relationship gone wrong theme, and Matt's last song "Soul To Keep is actually a 7 Seconds cover. (A tribute to Kevin perhaps?) Overall, Matt's tracks on this album are great, obviously very personal, and lyrically intriguing. He states in his thank you notes that he played all the instruments himself, and thanks Joey Ramone.
Now on to Kevin Seconds half of the split. I have to admit, I bought this C.D. mostly just to have the Skiba tracks, and had not heard any of Second's work since early 7 Seconds albums like "New Wind" and "Walk Together, Rock Together". I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually like Kevin's songs slightly better then Matt's! From the first notes of "Extra Something" to the closer "Motherfuckers" Kevin has assembled an sensational collection of heartfelt, touching songs that present a contrasting paradox of lyrics that continue the "relationship gone wrong" theme, but are set to relatively poppy, happy sounding music. Although it doesn't sound like it would, this actually works really well musically. Believe me, Kevin's songs on this split are AMAZING, and have become some of my favorites in my large collection.
I would highly recommend this album to any one that is a fan of either of these artists, or of good music in general. Everything from the awesome cover art (by K. Seconds) to the beautiful tunes you'll find inside makes this C.D. worth your hard earned dollars.
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