Reports / halfsour — Split 12″


Have you been waiting for Boston’s next slice of post-punky pop perfection? Well, you’re in luck. Heavy-hitters REPORTS, who have been on the scene for nearly a decade, have teamed up with relative newcomers HALFSOUR for an excellent split EP, which arrived digitally at the end of September and will see release on 12” vinyl this month on venerated local label Ride the Snake.

Reports’ contributions include leadoff track “Max Ave,” which throws listeners a curveball with a plodding 30 seconds that open a driving rocker full of organ stabs and wiggly guitars, swelling to a drone-laced chorus. Their second song, track three’s “S.F.S.C,” smacks of The Fall at first, both in its oblique title and bombastic intro boasting ragged guitar chords and seasick keys. But the song’s verses are full of the stuff that made indie rock such a force in the early-to-mid ’00s: arpeggiated guitar, flying bass lines, and synths guiding off-kilter pop vocals courtesy of singer Martin Pavlinic. The chorus is a total earworm, too. Haven’t caught anything this art-damaged and catchy since Les Savy Fav.

For their part, halfsour offer an excellent, un-capitalized compliment to Reports’ jams. Their first tune, the misleadingly titled “animal vegetable monotone,” sees bassist Zoe Wyner taking lead vocal, with excellent harmonies punctuating an exceedingly hooky chorus. The guitars dodge and weave and boast a mid-rangey bite that recalls garage-flavored ’90s indie like Pussycat Trash or Huggy Bear. The rhythm section are locked into grooves featuring some surprisingly effective bass chords and some great high-hat work. As if that wasn’t enough, their second song, “lunchroom punch,” closes out the EP with a certified ripper. Guitarist Matt Mara steps up to the mic for a Parquet Courts–inspired romp against institutionalized cafeteria amenities, warning us that “there’s a line for the microwave!” in a panicked yowl that would make Nikki Sudden proud. Bass and drums do a great job on the track, with walk-ups and dropouts that temper the aggression without obstructing the fury of the guitar attack. Then, just as quickly as it was served, “the lunchroom punch” is swallowed up by its succinct ending.

Catch both bands at the vinyl release show this Friday, February 20 at Great Scott, along with Mark Robinson (Cotton Candy, Teen Beat Records) and Laika’s Orbit (ex–Four Eyes).

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