Zoanoids / Bad Secret - Split 7-inch (Cover Artwork)

Zoanoids / Bad Secret

Split 7-inch (2023)

hey pizza! Records

Michigan’s Zoanoids literally came out of nowhere a couple years back with a demo that takes you back to the first time hearing the Lillingtons Death By Television LP. The Halloween themed “Hallow’s Eve” kicks off their side of this split. The track commences at a nice mid-paced tempo to set the mood. Not unlike many of their songs, this one tells the tale of feeling at ease in the darkness, esp on Halloween. This song features some killer synth in the pre-chorus. Zoanoids pick up the pace on “Elvira” which follows. As the title suggests, this one is about everyone’s favorite mistress of the dark. The highlight of this number is the band’s rapid chord change abilities in a short period of time. This Ramonescore style track boasts short and catchy chorus lines such as; “She’s My Only Desire, She’s the Queen of the Spiders.”

Youngstown, Ohio’s Bad Secret is the brainchild of Mr Beau Basement who is also known for his work in bands such as The Suck and Greendales. This band showcases his higher pitched vocal range which has previously not been exposed, given his role normally as a drummer. With Bad Secret, he handles both lead vocal and percussion duties. The eerie yet catchy “The Prisons At Dun Fee Aran” kicks off their side of the split. Very typical and familiar 1990s pop punk style guitar leads are present throughout the track, making this extreme ear candy. Lyrically, this can be taken literally or figuratively of a relationship being a prison. The lyrics seem rather ambiguous to me which adds to the charm of the track. “Cillidellan (Reprise)” is the follow up track which is the continuation of the previous song’s subject matter. This song is faster and more upbeat than the former. Beau even returns to some of the same vocal lines such as “I love you but I cannot stay.” Solid keys are present in the bridge to enhance the sound.

In summary this split is a match made in pop punk heaven. Where each band differs musically, they align lyrically making for a fun listen. Both bands encompass the spirit of the classic 90’s pop punk sound, yet bring a dark and sinister uniqueness to set each apart. This EP is a good representation of what is going on today in the Midwest pop punk scene.