End of a Year / Red Tape Parade - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

End of a Year / Red Tape Parade

Split [7 inch] (2008)

Cobra X

Since End of a Year was named after an Embrace song and Red Tape Parade was named after a Seaweed song, the bands decided it would be a cool idea to do a split 7" together and cover that other band's inspiration. So they did. And they decided to fill it out with an original song apiece, too. And have the thing drawn up and laid out by artist-to-the-stars Mitch Clem.

EOAY kick it off with the frantic "William Kennedy," where, in their singer's own words, they manage to "take a shit on IV drugs, doing prison time, and having babies." Yep, that's pretty accurate. "Work is for fools. / Work is for fools and let's be clear: / Life has three rules. / Life has three rules to keep head above water: / No needles, no babies, no jail." Granted, most of us will only avoid two of these things for their life's duration, but it's a nice ideal. It's a nicely fleshed-out song with an amusing soundbite in the middle explaining "crab mentality" and, as an example, using the idea of pressing a few hundred copies of some split 7" so "my band can do a tour in Europe" and some other dude saying, "Nah, you can't have that" (I'm paraphrasing here, and much too lazy to get up and drop the needle before wherever that clip is so I can be 100% accurate, but you get the idea). Very solid offering from the extravagantly cynical dudes, who are continually progressing past the Dischord pigeonholing and into something entirely more topically-focused, attention-grabbing and rather unique. Oh, and their Seaweed cover is pretty rugged, but it works. Granted I haven't actually heard that Seaweed song, mind you.

RTP kinda sound like a band who was raised on the `90s Epitaph punk/hardcore release schedule but quickly got sick of the formula and wanted to add a little bit of their own flavor to things. Their one original contribution, "Towns" is a super quick and partially jagged number, with a bizarre snottiness about it. It's got some good stop-starts, but I mostly wish the closing lyrical revelation came through as honest and affecting as it does on paper ("Froze my ass off but I didn't mind / While we talked about ex-boyfriends / and it really hit me hard that / someone else / once owned your heart"). Their "End of a Year" cover doesn't exhibit the same level of frustration and disgust that MacKaye did originally, but it's a nice try and I can't totally dismiss it.

Red Tape Parade - Towns