Saturday, January 31, 2009

Splitting the Difference # 1 - Garden Variety/Jejune 7" (1996, Montalban Hotel)

With the Wilfully Obscure Singles Going Singles series almost at the 100th post mark, I thought it was time to start a new one, dedicated to split singles. This series will probably range from 50 to 75 entries. Kicking things off is a 7" that features two of my favorite '90s bands, Long Island post-hardcore stalwarts Garden Variety, and Boston by way of San Diego's Jejune, both long departed.

Valley Stream, NY's Garden Variety were anything but. With dense, dissonant guitar mangling aplenty courtesy of Anthony Rizzo, and Anthony Roman's angst-addled vox, the trio employed the same gnashing, aggro leanings Drive Like Jehu were wont to revel in, albeit with some poignant melodicism, occasionally approaching Superchunk and the like. GV released a pair of devastatingly intense and addictive albums during their run, a self-titled effort on Gern Blandsten Records, and the more accomplished Knocking the Skill Level. Roman went onto front the exponentially more appreciated Radio 4, while drummer Joe Gorelick wound up in Retisonic. Their contribution to this single, "New Guitar Parts" is a non-lp track that wound up on the Revelation Records Anti-Matter compilation, however this mix is exclusive to the single. 'There's a lot at stake...'

Like their flipside counterparts, Jejune were also a trio (at the time of this recording), and a co-ed one at that. They were about as "emo" as Jimmy Eat World, and I guess that's downright fitting when you consider they did a split single with them as well. Like Garden Variety, Jejune burned out too quickly, and moreover could be pretty cathartic and carry a captivating tune at the same time. "Drive By Negly" (not sure if they're referring to a person or place) is quintessential Jejune, and should you appreciate it, you're well advised to investigate their back catalog.

A. Garden Variety - New Guitar Parts
B. Jejune - Drive By Negly


Rinjo Njori! said...

Garden Variety always reminded me of the Long island version of American Standard. The GV singer just doesn't have the same vocal chops as Bill Dolan.

Ape Mummy said...

What a great idea! This is just another reason why Wilfully Obscure is a daily stop for me.

alex said...

I wonder if this Montalban Hotel records has anything to do with the one that is currently part of the East/West record label group.