"Spirals" and "N.I.G.G.A." — the first official release from St. Joseph's buzzed-about teenage band of brothers — captures the Radkey aesthetic: vaguely ominous, Danzig-deep vocals over a feverish, Descendents-style racket. "Every band has that moment where they're like, 'Holy shit, I'm listening to myself on vinyl,' " Isaiah Radke says, "and Replay Records gave us that moment."
"I tend to favor garage-y, punky bands," Shanks says of Dry Bonnet. "They're just the ones that trigger my fancy first." Lawrence's Dry Bonnet fits that bill. Here, the group offers up an original ("Hey You," a jangly bit of garage-psych) and, on Side B, a cover of Echo & the Bunnymen's "Do It Clean." The latter is a little sloppy — they don't do it as clean as the original — but still just about as much fun.
Hospital Ships/The Hips
"I wanted to venture out and capture a little more of the Lawrence scene," Shanks says of this release. On Hospital Ships' upcoming LP, Destruction in Yr Soul, "Come Back to Life" is electric and soaring; here, it's loose and more acoustic while still communicating the tender, smartly arranged pop at which Hospital Ships excels. The keyboard riff on the Hips' "Yoo Hoo's Binoculars" gives the song a friendly soul groove, like a bunch of weird white kids trying to do Bill Withers. It's totally excellent.
Rooftop Vigilantes/Mannequin Men
Cramming four songs onto a 7-inch is an exercise in brevity — four and a half minutes per side is about as high as you can go with the format. This split features a couple of two-minute bursts from Rooftop Vigilantes: "Trouble Making Words," a characteristic example of the Lawrence group's unhinged, hooky garage-pop, and "Automatic Trash," which fleshes out that sound with some sunny surf tones. Chicago's Mannequin Men is a logical complement to Rooftop Vigilantes: "What's Yer Favourite Colour?" hits on a strain of post-punk somewhere between early Replacements and the Strokes, and "Dark Cemetery" is like a faster version of a throwaway Guided by Voices track.