Split singles have always worked as a solid way to cross pollinate fan-bases. Get two bands together with similar ideals and a complimentary sound and for a punter, even if you’re only familiar with one of the bands, you’re almost guaranteed a winning outcome.
It’s a concept well-understood by the fine folk at Spartan Records and implemented perfectly by Nashville’s Secret Stuff and Tempe, Arizona’s Sundressed. Musically, Secret Stuff play slightly mathy, American Football/Braid inspired emo while Sundressed like to hit you with a big chorus and some easy hooks. It makes for a heaven-sent match in this all-too-brief 4-song split.
Every song is a winner, but there’s two clear stand-outs; the labyrinthine and epic ‘Ew, You Taste Like Cigarettes’ by Secret Stuff and the toe-tappingly infectious ‘Autopilot’ by Sundressed. Both are vastly different and highlight the depth and variety of the emo genre – something that can be a double-edged sword on splits like this. That it works is testament to the water-tight song-writing of the two groups, and the fact you won’t find yourself choosing one band’s tracks over the other makes it a triumph from start to finish.
The result is a remarkably balanced, consistently excellent split single that serves as the perfect introduction to two of the best up-and-coming emo bands out there. Miss this at your peril…
’Secret Stuff / Sundressed Split EP’ by Secret Stuff and Sundressed is now on Spartan Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)