Glocca Morra / The Greek Favourites - Songs in the Key of Ayyyyyy (Cover Artwork)

Glocca Morra / The Greek Favourites

Songs in the Key of Ayyyyyy (2010)

Make-Out Party

It's hard to find gems. What with all the blogs on the world wide web posting a preposterous amount of first demos, splits and 7"s, feeling overwhelmed and over-saturated is more than easy. Finding hilarious duds is great, but the novelty of a terrible band is a fleeting and underwhelming comfort, like drinking a warm beer in a hot shower. It becomes easy to yawn at enthusiasm and brush off hype. It becomes easy to hate bands without hearing them, to hate them based on presentation alone. And then I heard the Glocca Morra/Greek Favourites split, released by Philly label Make-Out Party Records, and I stopped complaining for a while.

The Greek Favourites start off by playing a unique and jarring type of pop-punk/twinkle daddy. There are "noodles," and these boys would certainly be welcomed into the homes of twinkle daddies everywhere if it weren't for the fact that they play the songs too fast and the tone is too filthy. However, this is what gives the Favourites side its character. This is what makes their songs as distinct and memorable as they are. Some of the vocals have a real Crack Rock Steady feel to them, like the opening of the last song "One Knot", and even that works in their favor.

Where the Favourites' side impressed me with their ability to take styles that shouldn't work and make them grove real good like, the Glocca Morra side floored me with their songwriting and performance. At times it's abrasive, like the first 40 seconds of "New Years Eve", but it quickly falls into an inescapable groove that has you nodding your head like "yes yes that's it" before shaking your head no like "no no don't stop don't stop." Exactly like that. In "Weekend at Glen Burnies III" the band pulls back about a minute into the track, and singer Zack Schwartz croons "It's the way that it must be / at least for now," before the group releases their pent-up frustrations with a beautifully simple, cathartic line: "But I've fucking had it!"

Great splits can be hard to find. Sometimes one side will over-shadow the other; sometimes both sides will be pretty terrible. Sometimes the two bands on the split will sound so different that it loses its appeal as a single release, and sometimes they'll sound too similar. Sometimes, like with the Greek Favourites/Glocca Morra split, they get it right and for once, I couldn't complain, even if I wanted to. Which I do.

Greek Favourites wins: Best Choking Victim Vocals/Most Unique
Glocca Morra wins: Best Riffs/Worst Musical Reference for a Band Name