Make Do and Mend / The Flatliners - split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Make Do and Mend / The Flatliners

split [7-inch] (2013)

Rise Records

Make Do and Mend and the Flatliners are very different bands, and as such it's nice to hear them on the same release. This recent trend of equally awesome, but sonically dissimilar bands teaming up for splits is a welcome one, and here both bands put their best efforts forward to create a quick, fun listen.

MDAM's two contributions to the A-side are noticeably less polished than anything on Everything You Ever Loved, which might be good news to fans of the band's older, harsher material. "Don't" is jagged and fiery, with interesting guitar interplay, thumping bass and James Carroll's vocals as raw and throaty as they've ever been. "Tell Me," while more melodic, is decidedly moody and has a huge, heavy chorus. Really, these two songs combine all of MDAM's previous elements into a concise, enjoyable package.

For the Flatliners, who only recently announced a new album and long-awaited follow-up to 2010's best punk record Cavalcade, these two new songs serve as a refresher for what makes them great: Quick tempo changes without sacrificing melody, a punk energy that only seems to become more furious as the band age, and a knack for hooks and anthemics among the calculated chaos. "Calutron Girls" in particular is a revelation; there's so many different guitar parts afoot, listeners will probably lose count after the first six or seven. "Daggers" is a little more straightforward but just as satisfying, with some nicely-placed oohs among the song's chorus and another rousing vocal performance from Chris Cresswell, who sounds more assured behind the mic than ever. Dead Language, out Sept. 17, will be awesome if these songs are any indication.