Spires / 1994! - Split [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Spires / 1994!

Split [12 inch] (2009)


On the heels of full-lengths released just last year, Spires and 1994! return quickly, teaming up for a solid 12" split EP.

For Side A, Spires have slightly stepped up their game. The band's brand of luminous-less, deliberate screamo juxtaposed with more ominous passages is a little more affecting than on the aforementioned full-length Flowers and Fireworks. "Leaving for Home" features a sprawling, carefully dark and atmospheric opening, while some bass-driven propulsions rumble along in "Water's Edge." The way the hoarse growls and screams inter-cut across their last one, "Haunting a Sandlot," it almost has a slower, Tragedy-esque feel. Not bad, not bad.

1994! also offer a trio of songs, all of which also show a slight improvement on their own LP, Thank You Arms and Fingers. Except in this band's case, it's again their sharply gravelly vocals atop frenetic math-rock riffage with a few more chaotic parts than I remember them having. It's like taking Castevet, stripping the post-rock and increasing the speed considerably. "We're Excited About Thinking" has a practically noisy, dizzying finish while intense, desperate, screamed roars ("With so much love, we can never fall!") counteract upbeat, hyperactive riffs in "Hunchbag, Bag in Action." The drum fill drills in last one, "Hilarious Combinations of People Punching Each Other" catch the ear easy. There still seems to be something missing from the band's execution (better buildups? Longer slow-downs? Vocal dynamics?), but it's an admirable and promising style collision as is.

Spires - Water's Edge
Spires - Haunting a Sandlot

1994! - We're Excited About Thinking
1994! - Hunchbag, Bag in Action