Monday, February 4, 2013
Big Eyes v. Mean Jeans!
Ahh! There's nothing better than a split that makes perfect sense. For one thing, Big Eyes and Mean Jeans are both from the Pacific Northwest. And they also happen to be two of the best bands out there when it comes to today's punk/power pop scene. I haven't actually sat down and figured out who my top ten fave current bands are. But if I did, both of these bands would be very much in the conversation. Needless to say, I was pretty psyched when I found out they were joining forces for a split on Dirtnap! What a treat!
The format for this split is one I like a lot. Both bands contribute an all-new track, and then they each cover one of the other's songs. In the battle of the original tunes, I'd say it's too close to call a clear winner. Mean Jeans come strong with "I Miss Outerspace", a song in their signature pop-punk style. If you liked the band's last album, this is very much in the same vein: catchy, Ramones-inspired tuneage with a sci-fi angle and a tinge of longing in the vocals. Big Eyes veer off their usual power pop course and deliver "Losing Touch" - a muscular mid-tempo number with a throwback garage feel. It's sneaky good. I love how the guitar riff lodges itself into my brain and refuses to let go. And Kate's vocal totally rocks!
The exchange of covers is great fun as well. Mean Jeans take on Big Eyes' "Since You Left" and make it sound like a Mean Jeans song. Big Eyes take on Mean Jeans' "2 Twisted 2 Love You" and make it sound like a Big Eyes song. Isn't that precisely the sort of thing you want from a split?!
It seems likely that if you're already a fan of one of these bands, you're a fan of the other as well. Big Eyes and Mean Jeans go together like peanut butter and jelly. No wonder they toured together! If you're somehow unfamiliar with these two acts, this probably is not the place to start. Go stream Mean Jeans' On Mars and Big Eyes' Hard Life if you've yet to be initiated into the ways of these two tremendous bands. Then you too will be super stoked about this split. Red vinyl sold out, black vinyl going fast!