How Dare You / The Knockdown - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

How Dare You / The Knockdown

Split [7 inch] (2009)

Kiss of Death

Seems like this thing was announced eons ago, but now we're finally able to hold this split 7" featuring How Dare You and the Knockdown in our hands (and ideally, eventually place on our turntables). And once the needle drops, it's one that most fans of either band will have a hard time removing from their rotation.

How Dare You's side of the wax is a solid showcase of the band's ability to stay versatile while maintaining their anthemic core. "Still Young" errs on the side of urgency, with driving verses and some of the best-placed 'whoa's one will ever hear in a punk rock chorus. "Brothers on the Back Porch," on the other hand, is a slower number which sees the band employing a more methodical (but not less interesting) approach to finding the hook, and doing so admirably once the chorus truly kicks in. The extended interludes found in many of the band's songs on 2008's Comfort Road are completely absent here, and in this case the brevity and leanness helps augment How Dare You's strengths as musicians and songwriters instead of distracting the listener with an unnecessarily wonky and potentially momentum-killing exercise. Besides, there's only so much room for rock on these 7" records, right?

The other side of the split features what are likely the last recorded songs we'll hear from the Knockdown (vocalist Vic Alvarez recently relocated from downstate New York to St. Petersburg, Florida) and if this is indeed the end of the road for these guys, the two songs here are a memorable way to go out. "Relocator" features copious amounts of both melody and punch, along with some excellent backup vocals and a few 'whoa's that top off the song's climax nicely. In lockstep with the dichotomy of How Dare You's side of the record, "Yeah, Kyle Gets It" is the slower and more melodic tune of the Knockdown's side, featuring a solid chorus topped off with impressive vocal harmonies.

Overall, an above-average release with plenty of standout moments from both bands. And of course, the vinyl is on pretty colors, too. Bonus.