The Raging Nathans/Dead Bars - Split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Raging Nathans / Dead Bars

Split [7-inch] (2020)

Rad Girlfriend Records

Dayton, Ohio’s The Raging Nathans haven’t slowed down much, despite the disaster that has been 2020. (The same can be said about Rad Girlfriend Records, the label run by The Raging Nathans’ Josh Goldman and his wife.) Just this year, The Raging Nathans have released a well received new full length called Oppositional Defiance, a live EP, and two splits.

Dead Bars are a newer band from Seattle, WA that have been deserving some more attention. They followed up their two full lengths and a handful of splits with a live LP in 2020. Live At White Eagle Hall was recorded in 2019 in New Jersey during one of The Bouncing Souls’ 30th anniversary shows.

Here, each band contributes two new tracks. Rather than one band on each side, there is one song from each band on each side. The Raging Nathans start things off on side A with “Minor Details”, a song that would have been right at home on Oppositional Defiance. Dead Bars contribute “Won’t Go Far”. Both songs are aggressive and melodic, and they flow well from one to the next.

Side B has more production value from both bands. The Raging Nathans’ song, “I’m Telling Mike”, is kind of a punk Easter Egg. It twists the NOFX song “I’m Telling Tim”, both musically and lyrically, and puts Fat Mike in the role of gatekeeper. Punk songs that reference other punk songs are underrated. Dead Bars answer with “Don’t Change” and its amazing, rattling bass line. Both songs are snarky as well as sincere, and catchy as hell.

This is a great combination for a split, and a great split for that matter. The bands are different, but there is enough common ground that fans of each can appreciate the other. If you know someone who’s constantly complaining that there are no good newer punk bands, point them toward The Raging Nathans and Dead Bars.