Pairing Dang! Records label mates Perdition and Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge, the No Backup Plan split showcases two Texas bands; equally talented yet different in style. Perdition sends a solid nod to bands like The Menzingers and Swingin’ Utters while SCR definitely puts forth a technical punk perspective a la Strung Out.
Commencing with the lines “Even if these words fall on deaf ears / I’ll scream them out, slurred and unclear”, Perdition lays down a rocker in the opening salvo “I Saved a Bullet for You”; a lamentation of judging success and self-worth based on trivial possessions and status symbols. It’s a great song, but it does contain an odd, reggae-ish breakdown in the middle that kinda breaks up the flow of the track. I can kind of dig it as an almost Clash-style experiment, but I wish they would have just gone straight into the amazing bridge section that immediately follows.
Perdition’s second contribution, “I’ll Be Careful, You’ll Be Dead”, is the stand-out song on the split. The chord progression in the verse and chorus are at once warm and familiar, like a bottle of your favorite whiskey (Stranahan’s for me, please!). On this one, Perdition really displays their ability to write fantastic melody over tried and true punk structures. A song telling of introspection, deciding who you really are and then standing for what you believe in without compromising for those who criticize, this one deserves lots of PBR tall cans raised high at backyard BBQs while your other arm is wrapped around the shoulders of your favorite bearded buddy.
After flipping the proverbial record (the split comes in CD and digital formats), it’s time to switch gears and prepare for the sonic assault that is Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge. “Inside Every Cynic is a Disappointed Idealist”, the penultimate track, highlights the bands technical abilities without sacrificing melody or groove. The backbeat in this song is so solid, as if it was intentionally made for steering wheel drums. The guitars nimbly dance between harmonized licks and crunchy riffage while the singer ices the cake with a really clear, yet urgent vocal delivery. The lyrical content of this song really speaks to me as one who jumps back and forth between hope and disdain for humanity on a daily basis.
Closing out the split and providing the only real burst of speed is “Root Hogs”. I really like the vocal cadence of this one; it really compliments the movement happening underneath without always obligingly following the chord progression or guitar rhythms. Seemingly about moving away from “traditional” moral notions of society and religion as well as criticizing those who blindly accept faith and live to achieve salvation rather than improving the conditions of the world in which they actually live, I’m sure this song goes over fantastically amongst unsuspecting Texans. The guitar work is top-notch and the overall sound of SCR is exceptionally tight, especially when the band transitions into a polyrhythmic bridge before launching back into skatepunk mode.
Despite their musical differences, Perdition and Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge have put together a cohesive, highly-enjoyable split. I recommend ordering the CD from the Dang! Records bandcamp page; you receive an immediate download of the songs and, for only $5 bucks more, get a rad T-shirt with Dang!’s motto, “DIY ’til Death” emblazoned across the front. For those always on the lookout for bands emerging from the underground, pick this up, embed the songs in your brain and then pass it along to someone else; the back of the sleeve actually says that “unauthorized reproduction, copying and sharing of this record is encouraged”. Then, when your friend comes to you and says, “These bands are awesome!”, you can sublimely smile, pimp it like Han Solo and cooly reply, “I know”.
You can listen to and buy the split HERE
Follow: @perditionmusic @scrpunkrock @dangstudios