Alas, like touch-tone phones or my ability to bend over and tie my shoes without becoming breathless and lightheaded, bands doing split releases has largely become a thing of the past. Splits, once a stalwart of the indie and punk underground, make little sense in our dazzling albeit sterile digital world. (How would it even work to do a split on Spotify?)
Still, some bands just can’t let go. The resurgence of vinyl and, to a lesser extent, its little brother the cassette have offered groups a relatively cheap avenue to give fans something to actually hold in their hands –– all the better if those costs are spread between the two bands. One such upcoming split pairs hometown smartsy slack-rock outfit Joe Gorgeous with Replacements-ian rockers Ferals, both of whom will soon be cohabitating in the warm analog confines of magnetic tape.
“Ferals had been making these tight Hot Water Music jams –– this, like, sarcastic punk – and it just fit for the way I like to release music,” said Joey Gorman, singer/guitarist of Joe Gorgeous. “And [splits] are a concept where you can become familiar with a whole crew of people doing [similar] shit but in one package.”
For the “cassingles collection,” as Gorman calls it, Ferals are offering up three tracks that were released as a self-titled EP on Bandcamp in March. With Joe Gorgeous having no proper home for well-received single “Wet Cement,” a digital standalone that the four-piece released last year, and a blistering new track, “Jung Money,” (pronounced “young,” as in Carl Jung), Gorman said the timing just made sense.
“The cassette is the poor man’s die-on-the-hill-of-no-CDs shit,” he said. “It just seemed like an obvious move. I mean, people have decks, and Pokemon cards don’t really do shit, if that’s what you’re buying, so we tried to make it no more expensive or any less cool” than that.
Gorman plans to have the cassettes available for Joe Gorgeous’ next show at Friday on the Green on June 14. A tentative official release show is scheduled for June 29 at Doublewide in Dallas with their cohorts Ferals and the Delzels.
“Jung Money” makes for a good complement to “Wet Cement.” The breakneck pace of “Jung Money” and distorted staccato vocal delivery recall The Descendents at their most caffeinated, contrasting the previous effort’s more mid-tempo start/stopping. But as a twosome, the fuzz-heavy tracks affectionately highlight Gorman’s deceptively cerebral lyrical themes.
“It’s a loose reference to the concept of the millennial generation that’s been told they can do anything but can’t do anything,” he said. “Even wise people are making it on selling wisdom. Basically, it’s just about how money sucks.”
The tune will make a reappearance as the B-side on an upcoming 7-inch soon to be released by French label Six Donnes les Chairs. The song, “86 an Angel,” which has been receiving overseas play, will provide the A-Side. These three Joe Gorgeous tracks will be combined with six others for a forthcoming debut LP. Produced by Jordan Richardson (Quaker City Night Hawks, Son of Stan), Life in the Faust Lane is due out in the fall. A European tour is in the works after the album drops.
“You can actually make money on tour in Europe,” Gorman said. “We’re trying to get over there like [Littlefoot getting to] the Great Valley.”