Jonah Matranga / Kevin Seconds - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Jonah Matranga / Kevin Seconds

Split [7 inch] (2009)


You gotta suppose the scale on the cover of this promising split between Jonah Matranga (onelinedrawing, Far, duh/etc.) and Kevin Seconds is meant to signify this as a heavyweight battle between two of the most respected indie-punk singer-songwriters around. Then again, it's a medical scale, so maybe it's really meant to represent the ill-advised ideas drawn out on this 7", because it's a disappointing effort overall.

Matranga opens with "I've Always Wanted to Write a Song Commanding People to (Dance!)," an AutoTuned mesh of ringtone rap and electro-club dance beats. No, seriously. Remember Far's mind-boggling decision to cover Ginuwine's "Pony" (and release it as a single, no less)? That was a genuine rocker in comparison. "(Dance!)" is kinda funny, but generally just embarrassing. "I know some folks don't think much of me," Matranga laments in the more standard, acoustic and whispery "Daylight." Not true, Jonah; I think you're seen as a god in some circles, but when you pull curiously extrinsic moves like "(Dance!)", you gotta wonder. "Daylght" is obviously better than "(Dance!)," but rather timid and wimpy; Matranga's voice awkwardly cracks as he coos the song title and the track fades out innocuously.

Seconds' songs are both simple one-man acoustic endeavors played with a sense of train-shuffle, poppy folk. "Grip on Yr Own" is a quick jangle; its only real draw is its nimble tempo and it's otherwise kinda forgettable. Some interesting cooing in the background adds a more memorable and interesting texture to "Life Unknown," however.

Seconds provides two fairly decent cuts, but Matranga treads some truly iffy territory on this.