Here’s another one from the Engineer Records batch that arrived in Thoughts Words Action headquarters about two weeks ago. There’s a pretty much good reason why I left this particular release for reviewing in a new year. Also, there’s a pretty good reason why this release ended up on our Top Releases Of 2021 list. This four-way split release includes three bands I am familiar with, and the fourth comes as a pleasant surprise. It’s nearly impossible to say anything negative about this 7″ record, so what’s the best way to start 2022 that with some good music. Also, it’s good to mention this is a collaboration release between Engineer Records and Sell The Heart Records.
A split between Tired Radio, Neckscars, American Thrills, and Nightmare For A Week is a piece of artistry both visually and sonically. You’ll realize that once you grab this 7″ inch in your hands. The front cover illustration looks modern, detailed, colorful, and it perfectly describes the release. Still, there’s a circular artwork on the vinyl itself, which also looks eye-peeling. If you’re into modern vector illustrations and graffiti art, then you’ll appreciate this vinyl release even more. The details, print quality, and quality of the vinyl are top-notch. Even the quality of plastic vinyl protection sleeves surpasses other records I encountered before, so this split release is made to last for decades in your vinyl collection.
Monsters by Tired Radio opens up this marvelous split release. Tired Radio is all about emo, indie, melodic punk rock, and each composition they delivered so far sounds incredible. Their sound is something you should pay attention to if you’re into contemporary melodic underground music. Monsters come like a proper continuation of their debut full-length Patterns, released about a year ago. Neckscars is another band that ended up on several lists we made, such as Top Releases Of 2021 and Top 100 Tunes Of 2021. The Condor Swoop resembles the sound of the greats such as Hot Water Music, Ship Thieves, The Flatliners, Leatherface, but it seems these Newyorkers are taking this style on an entirely new level. Their sound is more dynamic, melodic, complex, aggressive, so besides The Condor Swoop, you should check out their debut Don’t Panic.
Blue Collar by American Thrills commences on the other side of this lovely piece of plastic. These guys deliver their version of melodic punk rock with a bit of pop-punk added in the mixture. Still, their music is far away from the commercial pop-punk that lurks around today. Quite the contrary, their sound is simultaneously melodic and raw, with semi-distorted chants, striking chords, and a dynamic rhythm section involved from scratch to finish. Main Street Market by Nightmare For A Week closes this side, and this band is the only one I wasn’t familiar with before. This band nurtures a characteristic style that continuously floats between punk rock, surf rock, and rock’n’roll. You may also hear some alternative and indie rock maneuvers along the way, but it seems like the beforementioned genres are more dominant in the mix. Like the remainder of the participants, Nightmare For a Week sounds great and Main Street Market serves as a proper closing track to this divine split 7″ release.