Ascetic Parade / Beat Noir - Split Extended Play [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Ascetic Parade / Beat Noir

Split Extended Play [7-inch] (2011)


A split release between Ascetic Parade and Beat Noir makes sense. Both groups have released material through donation-based online label Death to False Hope Records, and both know how to write a catchy punk rock song. This split 7-inch marks the first vinyl release for both bands, and the first physical release for Beat Noir altogether. It is also the finest work either band has done to date.

Durham, NC's Ascetic Parade are up first, and showcase a heavily '90s alt-rock-influenced sound that recalls Superchunk at their most punk. "Suburban Decay" has the honor of being the catchiest song the band has penned yet. Its "No, I don't miss those rainy days" chorus feels like something Ted Leo and the Pharmacists might have written in the Tyranny of Distance days. At a brisk one minute and 50 seconds, it feels a little too short. The chorus is good enough to warrant another go-around. "Magical" isn't quite at the same level, but it's an enjoyable tune, nonetheless.

Canadian youngsters Beat Noir take a more straightforward punk rock approach. Their two tracks show a huge improvement in almost every aspect from their debut Bay Street Superstars EP. "Mine" is a mid-tempo punk song about not getting out of bed...I think. Screaming and feedback segues between their two tracks into the best one they've written yet, "Yours". Its dual-shouted vocals call to mind No Division-era Hot Water Music, or perhaps early Against Me! (think "Walking Is Still Honest").

Ascetic Parade and Beat Noir are both extremely promising young groups that have improved with every release thus far. With more time spent playing together they could develop into forces to be reckoned with. They might not have completely found their respective sounds yet, but they're getting there. In the meantime, this is an enjoyable little split that's definitely worth a listen or two.