Local pop-punk buds of Sister City and Uncle/Father Oscar recently teamed up on a split EP, made up of four songs bursting with an emotional mentality and pop-punk positivity.
“Earthbound & Down” comes out of the gate quick, hardly letting up on the fast guitar riffs, frenzied yet tight drum beats, or jam packed lyrical delivery. Vocalist and guitarist Adam Linder swiftly sings “I just talk a big game, stoke a big flame, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get burned!” and then goes on to admit “still I am fine, most of the time” in a relatable and sort of self-depreciating cycle. “Skyline” brings in heavy moments that smoothly transition between their quick, upbeat hooks. This track has some of their best fast paced moments, consisting of instrumental technicalities and modern existential lyrics like “So pick a myth or prescription, fill your head with either one / The pills and the liquids or the we shall overcomes / Sleep safe in the suburbs, sip your filtered water slow / And swallow the story as the capsule’s coating goes.” After unwinding into a lullaby, the track ends abruptly as Linder reminds of the cyclical patterns with which the song deals, “So if I never move again take me to where the skyline ends.”
Uncle/Father Oscar’s side of the split is comprised of raw, noodley jams led by intricate guitar riffs and upfront, shouting vocals. “Old Man Joyce Used to Fix Up Thunderbirds in Here (years & years ago)” contains crazy drum fills and numerous crafty guitar lines in the verses, while the vocals get cleaner in the chorus, “It’s safe to say that we lived our lives too soon / We just wasted our time burning in the bathroom.” “Murder on the Beach” feels more like a skate punk song in terms of being straightforward and irreverent. The short track follows the same quick tempo for the most part, contains lines like “The club is dead, bodies line the shore / Eyes are red, but I’m not high anymore,” and has a stormy conclusion with a raging guitar.
These young punk bands have a knack for writing fun, emotionally-fueled pop punk, and this split is a great representation of how they continue to grow as musically proficient and catchy songwriters.