Split Review: Flowers Taped To Pens/Bread Club/Beds/Skull Kid

FTTP/Bread Club/Beds/Skull Kid - Split
(2015 Driftwood)

This split single is perhaps the defining release in the Driftwood Records discography: it's intimate, glazed with a crunchy coat of tape hiss and jam-packed with twinkly post-rock riffage. Oh, and most importantly, it's loaded with the moody, skramz-y vibes that the label's cult following craves. The first band to enter the ring in this fatal four-way is my personal favorite Driftwood act, Flowers Taped To Pens, a trio from San Diego. Their offering to the split release, "I Suppose It's Just Our Nature" is perhaps their best yet, pitting the signature shrieks of Connor and Ethan Sgarbossa against soaring, intricate guitaristry, culminating in a majestic crescendo of screamed vocals and tremolo picking. Following FTTP is a much more subdued, yet no less satisfying Bread Club cut. Atop instrumentation that vaguely resembles that of mid-career Dinosaur Jr is a lovably twee vocal delivery, another odd musical pairing on the split that works surprisingly well. It's the record's most accessible cut that builds up to a lovely three-part vocal harmony.

Leading off the B-Side of the record is Beds' appropriately-titled "Sweet Dreams", a somber tune carried on the strength of an impressively expressive dual guitar attack. It's the airiest and most calming of the four songs, wrapping the listener in a veil of spacey atmospherics. Pittsburgh's Skull Kid round out the split with distorted lead guitar, aggressive percussion, and powerful harmonies. If you've yet to cop any Driftwood Records releases, this 4-way split is a great place to start.