The Hungs Ups / the MOANS - split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Hungs Ups / the MOANS

split [7-inch] (2013)

Maneater Musick / Outloud!

It's always interesting to see and hear the pairings on split records, and it's extremely rare that one band doesn't stand out a bit more than the other. In the case of this six-tracker from Salt Lake City's the Hung Ups and Sacramento's the MOANS, I was already familiar with the former, possessing most of their back catalogue whilst the MOANS were just a band I'd recently started noticing people discussing on various social media networks, so the advantage was initially with the SLC-based quartet.

The Hung Ups do not stray from the path that the band's previous material has followed – it's snotty punk rock with vocals that occasionally manage to hold a tune but frequently fail to do so. I'm not treating that as a negative as there is no prerequisite for punk rock to be perfectly in tune, it's just a fact. However, I think that only one of the Hung Ups' three tracks, "The Lowlifes," does the band any justice, as neither of the others really match up to previous material: I especially found the pace of the songs to be a tad slow which reduced the impact that they have on me. I have to say that I was disappointed by this side of the record.

The flipside brings to the fore the MOANS, a band described as being ‘horror punk rock'n'roll' and it would take a fool not to notice the Ramones influence within the band: one track is called "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement" (which isn't a cover) and another is "Tamara's Gotta Problem," which are both straight out of the Ramones school of choosing titles for songs. Despite this overt adoration of, admittedly, one of the most influential punk bands ever, I find myself enjoying this side of the 7-inch more – the music is simple as are the lyrics: Tamara's problem is that she is a cannibal which provides some evidence of the ‘horror' adjective used to describe the band, and this is also heard in the backing vocals on the MOANS' final track "Too Many Yous (Coffin Mix)," which brings to mind the Misfits. The MOANS remind me not only of the Ramones but also of a cross between Screeching Weasel and The Riverdales and that ain't a bad thing.

So, the MOANS win out here and they're a band I'll certainly keep an ear open for in the future, whilst I will dig out The Hung Ups' self-titled debut album to remind me of what the band is capable of.