Four Deadly Questions / The Answer Lies - Split (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Four Deadly Questions / The Answer Lies

Split (2006)

Geykido Comet

Today has been one of those days. Well, not just today, but this semester as a whole just keeps piling on top of me. Like some poor bastard in a Mike Judge script, every day of my life seems to be worse than the last. I hate school. I'm tired of reading more than I sleep. I hate answering to professors who get paid to be dickheads. I'm sick of people telling me what to do. This split is the soundtrack of my day. And God help me if it is, but quite possibly the soundtrack of my semester.

The confederation of Four Deadly Questions and the Answer Lies is easily the most appropriate pairing for a split since Bad Astronaut and Armchair Martian teamed up for War of the Worlds on September 11, 2001. Yet while the latter provided the soothing drawl of Jon Snodgrass and introspecticism of Joey Cape, the music on the Four Deadly Questions / the Answer Lies split is more suited for snarling lips and clenched fists. And better yet, both supply such with a sardonic sense of humor that can vindicate even the bitchiest of moods.

Four Deadly Questions kicks off their end of the split with "Get Your Nunchucks and Your Dad's Car; I Know Where We Can Get a Gun." At 3:12, the song nearly doubles the length of any other track on the split, and starts slowly with a fairly routine AC/DC-like riff. Deceptively building on a measured -- though not altogether restrained -- verse, the band then launches into a male-female combo that somehow collectively channels Jello Biafra with Selby Tigers. After speeding through the buzzsaw hardcore of "All Things Inconsiderate," they return to a chunkier, riff-heavy rhythm for "Bottom Rung" that features a plodding cowbell and harsh but effective combination of raw-throated shouts paired with sweet female vocals. Four Deadly Questions hits their pinnacle with the bouncy hardcore of "Get Well / Funeral," which again capitalizes on the contrast of male and female singing styles.

While Four Deadly Questions raced through their half of the split, the Answer Lies fly through their portion, pumping out five songs in six minutes. Their gritty, no-soap approach to hardcore is reminiscent of something like Zeke -- only if they were on speed instead of acid, and recorded in a dingy basement instead of the Blasting Room. Hosting song titles like "Pink Bandana," "Rewriting History One Water Tower at a Time" and "Blood and Fur," the Answer Lies punch through the speakers like a steel-toed boot to the teeth. "Political Song for My Emoticon to Sing" amusingly references the Minutemen, though sonically recalls more MDC or JFA than Boon and Watt, with a breakneck velocity and inaudible shouts.

If shared pain halves the grief, then shared pissed doubles the pissed. If and when I begin beating my head against a wall, I will most certainly do so with the support of Four Deadly Questions and the Answer Lies blasting through the speakers. Thanks guys, I needed this.