Bouncing Souls / Hot Water Music - Split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Bouncing Souls / Hot Water Music

Split [7-inch] (2011)

Chunksaah Records

Oh hell yes. This week the Bouncing Souls and Hot Water Music, two of the mightiest punk bands from my beloved East Coast, combined forces for a split seven-inch. Released on the Souls' own Chunksaah Records, the bands cover each other's tunes, to great success. The Souls tackle "Wayfarer", from HWM's 2002 record Caution, while HWM in turn takes on "True Believers" from 2001's How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

Let's be clear: This seven-inch is for the devoted. The covers aren't too different from the originals, but they're a nice gift to fans. And the packaging is cool. This split comes in a variety of pretty colors; mine is a black/silver vinyl with red splatter. The sleeve is black paper with red and silver foil embossed. The Souls and HWM logos shine from the cover. If you're a fan, this is the kind of dorky stuff you will obsess over.

And hey, it plays music too. The Souls go first, and they do a bang-up job with "Wayfarer". Musically, it's pretty similar to the original. The vocals are where things change. HWM frontman Chuck Ragan tends to get descriptions like "gravelly," "throaty" and "beardy as fuck" thrown his way. Those things don't really apply to Souls singer Greg Attonito. He's much cleaner but just as energetic, and the cover overall is successful.

"Wayfarer" converts easily to the Souls' style–check out those "whoa"s–but I have to declare HWM's take on "True Believers" the better performance. To be fair, I also think "True Believers" is the better song, so in a way everyone is a winner. HWM gives it a raw spin, keeping the hooks but adding some grit. The guitar solo is just as great this time around too.

The seven-inch is already sold out on, but retail and tour versions are available in limited quantities.