Brandtson / Camber / Seven Storey Split (CD)

Another of the fabled Deep Elm splits! What can I say about Brandtson that I haven’t already covered? Well, the one track on this disc makes it hard for me to get any more than a brief taste of what they are currently doing. Still, “Dead Animals” is straight-forward post-hardcore music with dual-harmony at times. Instead about being directly about the lover scorned, Brandtson has changed up the typical subject of the song to a girl scorned, with the members of the band being the elders who have already been through this type of thing many times in their lives. The lyrics “Let’s meet up at the dirty lake and we’ll talk the black skies blue. We’ll spit and cuss as they rain on us” really illuminate the kindred spirit that the entity that is the band has for this lover scorned, and the song itself is a strong one, making me want to pull out the Death & Taxes Cdep and start listening again.

Aside for “P” on the Too Young to Die disc and their work on the Unreleased Volume 2 disc , I was very much uninformed about Camber as an act. Using a much more dirty sound to their music, Camber’s lead vocalist sounds at times like Chris Cornell (in his Audioslave days) , Perry Ferrell (Janes Addiction), or Rob Halford (Judas Priest), and the guitars sound like Songs for the Deaf-era Queens of the Stone Age. “I Could Not Care Less” is another very pop-laced track, “I Could Not Care Less” has the feelings of apathy and despondency that bands like Good Charlotte and The Vandals have popularized, but has the deep musical roots that make music by bands like The Appleseed Cast and Criteria so memorable. Camber ends their set on this disc with “Goodbye Mr. Spaulding”, a track that has dreamy guitars and vocals that do not reach anything above a whisper.

Another band that I was not very familiar with in the Deep Elm family was Seven Storey. In fact, this split CD was my first chance to actually listen to the band. Like an anemic Nirvana, Seven Storey has a mope-rock feel to the act that is shed during those choruses and other sections when they actually pick up their instruments and start rocking. The heavier rock roots of Seven Storey comes out during the last track on the disc, “Covers”. Perhaps using a little bit too much distortion on the guitars on this track, Lance sounds like a mixture of Foo Fighters and Monster Magnet, albeit with a much more cognoscent and informed head on his shoulders than any members of the aforementioned acts. “Covers” is a trifle frightening – after all that railing against the talking heads, Lance is pulled off the track – and the CD ends!

The split itself really showcases three different directions that Deep Elm has made with their record label, moves that will ensure the freshness of Deep Elm releases for at least the next few years. The three-band split, while limiting the amount of time that the bands get to play, offers a few more options than a traditional split.

Rating : 6.9/10

Brandtson / Camber / Seven Storey Split / 2003 Deep Elm Records / 6 Songs / http://www.brandtson.com / http://www.cambernyc.com / htp://www.sevenstorey.com / Reviewed 29 July 2003 / Released 14 August 2003

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