Monday, April 07, 2014

Stitches v. Miscalculations!

Talk about a clash of the titans! I can't think of two bands in the world that are better suited to collaborate on a split than The Stitches and Miscalculations. Musically speaking, they are true kindred spirits. When I heard that they'd done a split, I thought that had to be the best idea since the deep-fried Oreo. So, then...does the actual product (out on No Front Teeth Records) live up to expectations? Of course it does! The concept is that both bands take a signature song of theirs and do it two different ways. There's a "punk" side and an "electro" side to this split - each featuring both bands. And what blows my mind is that I don't necessarily prefer the punk side!

The Stitches' contribution to the punk side is a previously unreleased version of "Automatic" mixed by Pete Dee from The Adicts. Miscalculations answer with "Factory Life" - a great track in an early Buzzcocks meets Warsaw vein. Even if those had been the only two songs on the record, I would have been totally happy. I love this alternate mix of "Automatic", and "Factory Life" is one of Miscalculations' best songs to date. But the electro side pushes this split from good to truly great. Both tunes from the punk side are reinterpreted in a synth-punk/new wave fashion, and it's like they're entirely different songs! The Jet Set electro version of "Automatic" is the closest thing I've heard to The Screamers in a long time, featuring one of Mike's snottiest vocals ever and utilizing synthesizer with the seeming intention of ripping open your eardrums. Brilliance! Meanwhile, "Factory Life" gets an icy Gary Numan style makeover. In art, film, and music alike, I've always been a huge fan of 1970s visions of the future. That's what this version of "Factory Life" reminds me of, especially combined with the stark minimalism of the packaging and artwork. I'm struggling mightily to determine which of the two versions I prefer. Five years ago, I would have picked the punk version just on principle. Today, I'm calling it a tie. Good on Miscalculations for constructing a song that works equally well in both modes!

As you might expect, vinyl copies of this highly collectable split are going fast. So get on it now it if you still need a copy. Having received word that Miscalculations have already completed a second LP, I am understandably psyched! Hopefully we'll be hearing that in a few months. In the meantime, be sure check out their first one if you haven't already!


1 comment:

mickfletcher said...

nice one, i like that