In March, Californian bands Civil War Rust and Squarecrow released a four song split. I has been aware of both bands for a while but had never really properly checked each out so this felt like a great opportunity.
Oakland's Civil War Rust start the split with their two tracks – Hopeful At Last and Hunting For A Good Will. Hopeful At Last starts out with a slower section with the band’s vocalist pretty much crooning before the full band comes in and we get a huge sing-along moment of "wake up, wake up" that will fully get a crowd involved. We then transition back into a slower moment that builds back up to the big ending, which is the real highlight of the song. Back to the repetitive "wake up, wake up" line and then a raspier vocal that add some aggression to proceedings. What a superb way to start things off. Hunting For A Good Will begins with your more standard melodic pop punk guitar tone. The opening vocals almost feel like a spoken word segment in the way it's delivered and was a great way to pull the audience in. This builds towards a superb chorus. The huge gang vocal shout of "maybe we're all lost and lonely, we fell in love without an exit plan, I'll see you soon" had me fighting the urge to throw my fist in the air.
San Diego's Squarecrow begin their half of the split with the song Can't Sleep. Gonna Die. Squarecrow offer more of an indie punk style compared to the melodic pop that Civil War Rust gave us. The dual vocals give the song a fantastic element and make it feel somehow more rounded. I really enjoyed how the bass takes the lead throughout the verses with the guitar only adding some nice moments here and there. If you've never listened to Squarecrow before then this is such a great place to start. The three piece’s second song is titled Showing Teeth. Starting out with a raspier vocal than what we heard on Can't Sleep. Gonna Die, Showing Teeth is a song about trying to prove to someone that everything is going to be okay despite how it might currently seem. It's a catchy song that you'll be humming long after you've finished listening to it. The chorus really is a big ear worm and it will act as a moment of catharsis for anyone singing it. Hopefully it will get plenty of people believing its message.
I really enjoyed all four of these songs and will now be making sure to check out more material from both Civil War Rust and Sqaurecrow. Releases like this are the reason I do love a split – you get to check out more than one band, it feels like you're getting a great bonus from it. More bands should do splits.
Stream and download the split here: https://civilwarrust.bandcamp.com/album/civil-war-rust-squarecrow-split
Like Civil War Rust here: https://www.facebook.com/civilwarrust/
Like Squarecrow here: https://www.facebook.com/squarecrowmusic/
This review was written by Colin Clark.