Friday, July 16, 2010

Splitsville - Repeater - 1998


Splitsville's third album was unfortunately released just months before their label dissolved, so its distribution was limited. Still, it's well worth seeking out, because where Splitsville USA had been a lighthearted goof and Ultrasound a tentative move from the band's deliberately silly beginnings to something more mature, Repeater is like the debut of a whole new band. Dropping the Redd Kross-like fascination with suburban cultural touchstones in favor of a new interest in more grown-up themes (lyrics and metaphors about the daily grind crop up regularly, especially in the opening "Dayjob" and its bookend track "Downsizing") with fewer overt chuckles. Similarly, the brash and garagey sound of the first two albums is toned down here into a more subdued, though still rocking, style of guitar pop more in keeping with the members' old band, the Greenberry Woods. Fountains of Wayne is another valid comparison, with the sweetly melodic "I Concentrate on You" particularly deserving the nod. Splitsville's next album, The Complete Pet Soul, would be an even bigger change of artistic direction, but Repeater shows that Splitsville weren't about to let the limitations of their earlier style strangle them.-AMG



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