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The Anniversary / Superdrag
Split EP
Vagrant Records

The first in a series of split EPs from Vagrant Records, The Anniversary and Superdrag have teamed up for a clever little six-song effort. Both bands avoid such split EP clichés as covering each otherís tracks or any other such silliness, opting instead to simply offer up three new and forward-thinking tracks each.

The Anniversary step up to the plate first, and any fan of the band is immediately taken back by the radical new sound. The once bouncy and moog-driven protégés of The Get Up Kids have set their sights on a more rocking pop sound with an obvious Beatles and 60ís pop influence. "Oí Lady Butterfly" begins simply enough, building up to lovely and slightly psychedelic guitar work accompanied by harmonica, as well as more subtle keyboards and female harmonizing than on the bandís sugary sweet debut, Designing A Nervous Breakdown. The lo-fi "Anais" is a folky and bluesy, Dylan-meets-the-Beatles acoustic guitar and tambourine laced track complete with "la da da da" choruses and male/female harmonizing. Then comes "Up In The Sky," another number influenced by older pop that relies a little more on Adrianne Popeís gorgeous background vocals. All three songs are entirely enjoyable, and certainly a step in the right direction for one of the few Vagrant bands that fails to sell its soul to mediocrity.

Superdrag is not to be outdone. The band contributes three rocking songs, "Take Your Spectre Away," "The Emotional Kind" and "I Guess Itís American," again citing 60ís pop as a heavy influence. The three songs donít represent as radical of a departure as do those contributed by The Anniversary, but they do show some change, sounding quite different from the bandís most recent material, giving off more of an old school vibe. "I Guess Itís American" rocks out the most of the three, and is possibly the highlight of the bandís set, but all three are far from harmful on the ears.

Most EPs simply offer up some familiar sounding material and leave the drastic changes for the full-length releases, but that fails to be true this time around. Fans of both bands, especially of The Anniversary, should keep an open mind while giving this a first listen. In the case of both bands, this really makes you want to see what they are capable of in the future.

- Eddie Fournier

Track Listing:

  1. Oí Lady Butterfly
  2. Anais
  3. Up in the Sky
  4. Take Your Spectre Away
  5. The Emotional Kind
  6. I Guess Itís American

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