Kyle Kinane / The Slow Death - Under the Table #2 [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Kyle Kinane / The Slow Death

Under the Table #2 [7-inch] (2014)

Silver Sprocket / Rad Girlfrie

A split between punk band the Slow Death and stand-up comic Kyle Kinane makes sense. They’re all a bunch of sad Midwestern drunks. Their kinsman Mitch Clem even did the artwork [Note: Joe Dunn handled the colors, but he seems to have his shit together compared to everyone else]. Clem provides an interesting link, since this split also has something in common with his Turnstyle Comix series: Both reveal Silver Sprocket’s increasing penchant for releasing seven-inches that tweak the format a little. Here, you get some jokes mixed with some throaty punk covers. The whole thing is a winner.

Kinane goes first with “Skunk Story,” in which he relates the triumphant tale of rescuing a Mephitis mephitis from a mayonnaise jar. Kinane’s mind gleefully, esoterically wanders as he explains how this particular night influences all his interactions with nature. Factually, it’s a simple story, but he brings a lot of flavor. The humor isn’t quite as dark as anything on Kinane’s live albums, but that’s probably a good thing. Let the guy have some fun for once.

The Slow Death follow up with a pair of (Young) Pioneers covers, “Fuck the Labor Pool” and “We Ain’t Even Married.” These takes are relatively faithful, albeit with a more bar band vibe and plenty more harmonica thrown in. But they’re about as loose as the (Young) Pioneers ever got, and frontman Jesse Thorson has the pipes these tunes need. It’s a bummer the songs are as relevant now as they were in the ’90s, but at least you can flip the record over and let Kinane put a smile on your skull.

While the Under the Table series isn’t explicitly meant to have this format (#1, featuring Franz Nicolay and Mischief Brew, is a more traditional punk split), it would be great to see this style pursued. The acts complement each other well while providing contrast. The split is a short but entertaining listen throughout.