Two Virginia Punk outfits, Averman and Stonewall, collide on a new 7" split EP.
Foundation is a grooving introduction, building slowly as each instrument joins in until chanting gang vocals begin to fade in from a distance. Foundation fades right into Head Walk This Way, the first formal track on the split.
Head Walk This Way kicks in with breakneck drums and typical Pop-Punk guitar riffs. When the vocals come in, they call to mind Cheshire Cat-era blink-182, which is certainly not a bad thing. Never really taking any time to shine or go beyond what it delivers in the first thirty seconds, Head Walk This Way is a clunker on an otherwise solid side of the split.
The next track, B-Side To A Lifetime Cover Set gets a lot of things right that Head Walk This Way did not. The vocals have emotion and energy behind them, there’s variety presented in the song’s instrumentation. When the bridge comes in towards the end of the song, it brings gang vocals along with it; the track cements itself as the best written song on this side of the split.
Varsity Blues has a lot in common with B-Side, which is definitely a good thing. At nearly four minutes, it’s the longest song brought to the table by either Averman or Stonewall. Varsity Blues distinctly sounds like it would translate well into a live setting, partially due to the backing vocals scattered throughout the song and partially due to the emphasis on the bassline which holds the track together.
Stonewall’s sound is much more Hardcore-influenced than Averman’s, and that’s clear from the opening bars of Pale Rider. The vocals in Pale Rider are powerful and emotional, but manage to stay clear and ensure the lyrics are still decipherable. As a result, none of the emotion and energy is lost in translation. The guitar work is admirable and catchy in an almost unexpected way.
Once Upon A Time In The West is heavier than Pale Rider, and the track doesn’t do enough to really differentiate itself from its predecessor until around halfway through, when the instrumentation shifts gears from a stop-and-go rhythm into something more rolling. Once Upon A Time In The West has the unfortunate fate of being placed in sequence between two more enjoyable tracks, which does little to help it stand out.
A Fistful Of Dollars is a powerful track to close the split with. The guitars are in full force throughout the song, which will keep the listener enthralled. The vocals rail against organized religion, more directly in its content than the other tracks on the split. The focus in content helps the song stand out from the other pair of tracks, which despite solid lyricism, could be interchangeable.
2. Head Walk This Way
3. B-Side To A Lifetime Cover Set
4. Varsity Blues
1. Pale Rider
2. Once Upon A Time In The West
3. A Fistful Of Dollars
Written by Frank Campisano IV