The Cardinal Sin / Small Towns Burn a Little Slower - There Is No Place Like MPLS [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)

The Cardinal Sin / Small Towns Burn a Little Slower

There Is No Place Like MPLS [7 inch] (2005)

Grey Flight

Here we go again, yet another split to employ the cover song gimmick. This time around the bands do not cover each other however, but instead have opted for the Wedding Present and Rocky Votolato.

The Cardinal Sin start things off with a song that might as well be a cover considering that its high-pitched vocal lines and post-hardcore music sound eerily familiar, while the chorus is a near perfect Hot Rod Circuit rip-off. The dark power-pop of the Wedding Present's "Brassneck" seems to suit the Cardinal Sin a bit better and acts as a pretty faithful rendition of the original, except of course for the emo vocal delivery.

Small Towns Burn a Little Slower's new track is much like their debut, generic sounding emo that has been done many times before with small striking moments. This time it is the chorus, with its super catchy chant, that keeps the song from being a total throwaway.

Yes, their cover does take an all-acoustic Rocky Votolato track and "rock it out," but it works well considering that "Suicide Medicine" is full of palm muting and big breakouts. What doesn't work here is the vocal delivery. If you were to simply read lines from "Suicide Medicine" such as, "Oh God, I love you, yeah I mean forever," you would probably cringe, but when you hear them sung through Votolato's scratchy and desperate voice they take on a much more convincing tone. Sadly, the same can not be said for Small Towns Burn a Little Slower, who make the lines sound merely like another emo cliché.

What is interesting about this seven inch is that it comes packaged with a CD version of its contents, making it easy for the owner to add the tracks to an MP3 player or blast the seven inch in the car. Also, written on the disc is "don't let vinyl die, buy a turntable," a phrase that at first struck me as endearing -- a battle cry for collectors, audiophiles, and traditionalists -- but ultimately came off a bit odd considering the two bands on the split seem more concerned with current trends than musical tradition.