Small Brown Bike/The Casket Lottery - split CD (Cover Artwork)

Small Brown Bike / The Casket Lottery

Small Brown Bike/The Casket Lottery: split CDsplit CD (2002)
Second Nature Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: wearerobots
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This album is definitely one for the books. People will look at it as a run-of-the-mill split, but as Ben Reed's writing in the liner notes will convey, it is more a collaboration...six songs of pure genius. The first song on the album is entitled "Wrong Hometown" featuring Small Brown Bike provi.

This album is definitely one for the books. People will look at it as a run-of-the-mill split, but as Ben Reed's writing in the liner notes will convey, it is more a collaboration...six songs of pure genius.

The first song on the album is entitled "Wrong Hometown" featuring Small Brown Bike providing the instrumental aspect of the song and Nate Ellis, lead singer of the Casket Lottery, on vocals. The music is very solid and structured with a major sound, but Nathan's vocals enter with an almost eerie sound to them exploding in the chorus with a dramatic bloom of melody. "Now I'm a Shadow," the Bike's original track on the album has a very driving beat from the drum and bass combination, mixed with some incendiary guitar parts between Mike Reed and Travis Dopp. This song, in my mind, would (un)fortunately be one of the only critiques I could offer in that the percussion of Bike Jeff on the set cannot replace the genius of former drummer, Jeff Gensterblum (currently of the unisex trio, Charlevoix). However, I suppose where there is death, also too there is birth and in this case the Bike definitely has a new sound behind the set mixed with the good ole' Bike we all know and love.

The 1980's may have seemed kind of dim in terms of good music, but David Bowie and Queen still managed to conjure up a great rock song in "Under Pressure," long before the days of Vanilla Ice. The two bands come together on this song and really do the original some justice. I myself and not as big a fan of covers as I once was, but this is amazing. The song covers every aspect of the original down to the "De ah De's" of Freddy Mercury. The Casket Lottery's track on the album, "Composing Myself (A Lullaby)" as well as "Boardinghouse" (TCL-instrumental;SBB-vocals) fill in the tail end of the record in a great rock sound typical of both bands. My personal favorite song, however, closes it all called "Riding with Death." This again is a collaboration between both bands, yet this time in a very slow, atmospheric track differing from anything they have done before. The vocals are very soft, completing the sound and album as a whole. Ben Reed is found on this track tickling the ivories of a hammond organ and various other instruments are added such a great twelve string guitar in the background.

All in all, if you don't purchase this album, you will be missing out completely. Two amazing bands came together over a two year period and wrote great music, that's all there is to it. This will be recognized as one of the greats for quite some time in the spectrum of indy music. So, go buy it now.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thisbandsoundslikethis (February 28, 2010)


nosedive (March 16, 2006)

damn good split, definitely worth picking up.

Anonymous (June 8, 2003)

i am so slow at these shits. the "new" song with lyrics along the lines "this is not my fault" has been refered to as "scream". it is not "my unasnwered whys" from the cursive split. it is not "back to the middle" (also a new song). it will be on their new full length out this fall on lookout. peace.

Anonymous (October 24, 2002)

I don't know what's up with the SBB drumming shit. Whenever they play "See You In Hell" (starting on their 2001 tour with HWM and Leatherface) the drums go into half-time and fuck up the vocal melody during the chorus. It's hella annoying, like using the word "hella."

Anonymous (October 24, 2002)

i don't know if he can't or doesn't want to, but jeff doesn't play the old songs right. he doesn't do all the sweet fills that dan use to do...he's good though.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

Jeff is a good drummer and I think he makes a good addition to the Small Brown Bike. Charlevoix is really good though and I think Dans talent are shown a lot more with them.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

........or you can just buy it scott.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

Holy fuck dude, yes please post some mp3's. I would love to hear this...

timis (October 23, 2002)

So i guess no one has heard of LESC...i will post some mp3s...LESC was the band before small brown bike. travis was the lead singer...melodic punk group that kicked ass. anyway their side project was SBB which turned into their full time gig.

waste_elite (October 23, 2002)

"The 1980's may have seemed kind of dim in terms of good music"

good god man, are you insane? punk was at it's best in the 80's.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

(Insert obligatory kid bitching about Scott wanting free records even though that kid had to shell out his dad's $7 for it.)

This record was on display at my favorite record store. I was honored to be shopping in such class. Excellent record, but it's no substitute for a new Small Brown Bike LP. When I saw them with Cave In (Sparta didn't play for some reason) they played four new songs in a row, which kind of killed the crowd's energy, but it blew me on my ass. Those songs were outstanding.

maverick (October 22, 2002)

Wyzo -
you donate plasma? I used to do that last year at Aventis in Rock Island, but it creeped me out after a while so I haven't gone this year yet. The money also dropped way down, at least here.

Also, Second Nature is blowing it by not sending this to me. I shouldn't have to ask.


Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

I'm sorry, I meant to say that it was Dan, Jeff is the new drummer, my mistake indeed. "My Unanswered Why's" is definitely off of the split with Cursive. I'm from NY though, not Michigan.

layawayplan (October 22, 2002)

"my unanswered whys" i assure you it is not.
#1) I'm listening to that song now, and it's not the same song they've been perfoming for the past few months (trust me, i've heard it 3 times, and can't get it out of my head)
#2) I'm quite sure he's said "here's a new one" before playing it.

They've also been playing another new one that (i think) dates back to the tour w/ Choke in march (although, when I saw it, they were the SBB trio). I think it's called "back to the middle".

Also, neither song mentioned is "trains all talk", the demo posted on their site, so don't try to tell me it's that song. Do check out the demo song though...awesome.

Again, can't wait for the full length.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Charlevoix is good, but I still prefer the bikes new drummer.

The song from the 7 inch referred to below is "my unanswered whys" and is killer.

I plan on getting this with my plasma money. Yeah.

maverick (October 22, 2002)

I think that SBB song you're talking about is the one on the split 7" with Cursive [on the Makoto split 7" series] - I don't have it [or my record player] with me, though, so I can't check for you.


layawayplan (October 22, 2002)

good review...I picked this up on their tour with sparta. If you've seen SBB live at some point in the last few months, they've been playing some new songs. One in particular has me salivating over the release of an album. I don't know what it's called, but it starts with a slow, building guitar intro before he shouts something along the lines of "this is..not your fault"...incredible song.

Anyone else thing that Mike looks like a chicken when he starts rocking out using his entire upper body? It's funny to watch.

travis (October 22, 2002)

good review. casket lottery owns. ill have to check this split out.

abileneINlove (October 22, 2002)

Wasn't London Calling released in the 1980's?

Odd, I always thought it was booku good.

The score is for "Under Pressure," as the enigmatic song it is.

timis (October 22, 2002)

actually...the old small brown bike drummer was Dan Jaquint who is now in Charlevoix. sounds like the person who wrote this review is from michigan. SBB is a good band....But that arent LESC

chimericalburst (October 22, 2002)

word up. good review.


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