O'Brother / Sainthood Reps - Split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

O'Brother / Sainthood Reps

Split [7-inch] (2010)

The Ambitious Guest

This split 7" is short, but features two extremely promising bands offering exclusive new songs, both treading plenty of similar ground for it to make perfect sense in pairing them. O'Brother is a newer act on the Favorite Gentlemen roster, and perhaps its most underrated, while Sainthood Reps is the side project for Brand New guitarist Derrick Sherman.

O'Brother follow their strong 2009 EP, The Death of Day, with "Lay Down." It's more brooding, smoky indie rock with fierce, cathartic explosions and a bubbling undercurrent of post-rock atmosphere. Though this comparison's been drawn before, it's not too far off what Colour Revolt was doing on their self-titled EP, but darker and heavier. In fact, with about a minute to go the sound kicks fully into gear with absolutely hammered guitars and bass that more closely mimic the post-metal thrust of a Pelican or Russian Circles, but with another cascading, harrowing riff sauntering above it. Needless to say, the song's really fucking good, and it's chilling to wonder what this band could do in the space of an entire full-length.

For Sainthood Reps, this is their first *real* release, though this song, "Mount Condor," was among a previously-released handful of scattered demos. Like O'Brother, the band mixes indie rock brood and post-rock atmosphere, but with a little more obvious melody and verse-chorus structure. There's a nice, dynamic thump for the chorus, and frontman Francesco Montesanto guides the verses with emotionally fractured singing and nautically metaphorical lyrics. Sherman fiddles with a subtle sparkle on his own guitar to add another layer as the song is taken to a soft finish. While it's not as overpowering as O'Brother's moments, it's thematically sound and solid, ending before the band can add any unnecessary fat to it.

Hopefully O'Brother is utilizing their current five-week tour schedule to write and play around with new ideas plenty, because they've got a hell of an album in 'em. And with Brand New seemingly on break for the time being, Sainthood should have some time to do the same and maybe build an impressive debut EP themselves. This 7" could just be a great foundation.

O'Brother - Lay Down
Sainthood Reps - Mount Condor