Review Summary: Leave what you want, get what you need.
On the surface, the combination of Sainthood Reps and Weatherbox seems a completely random pairing for a split record. Sainthood Reps have recently left the dying Tooth and Nail records and inked a record deal with No Sleep Records, while Weatherbox find themselves between record labels, their last three releases all coming forth from different labels. Musically, the two bands find themselves on different ends of the musical scale as well, as Sainthood Reps play a revival style of grunge and alternative and Weatherbox lean more towards the “indie-rock” side of the spectrum. But if one were to look past the glaring dissimilarities and listen to the two tracks present on this split, they would be in for a pleasant surprise; somehow the two bands play perfectly off of each other, and with this 2013 split, we see two of the best tracks these bands have put on to tape in their career emerge.
With only two songs present on this split, it is obvious that this release’s purpose is to merely appease to the fanbases of these two artists, and in the case of Sainthood Reps, serve as interim leading up to their fall No Sleep debut. The Sainthood Reps side of the split, if one song could be deemed a “side”, demonstrates the growth over the past two years, as lead singer Francesco Montesanto’s voice has seen vast improvement; where in past releases the vocals would occasionally seem to meander listlessly ahead of walls of sounds and guitars, Deadlines
finds Montesanto’s most inspired performance thus far. The song perfectly displays what one will find in any given Sainthood Reps song. The song slowly burns through verses and choruses, building to a bridge/guitar solo that perfectly captures the lackadaisical mood of the entire track, before the screams of “I’m not yours anymore” end the song on an emotional highlight, perfectly leading into Weatherbox’s side of the split.
While the first track present is enough to hold any Sainthood Reps fan over until this autumn, it is truly overshadowed by Weatherbox’s song, Big News. This song, simply stated, is catchy. Throughout the entire three and half minutes, there is not a single moment in which you will not find yourself tapping along, nodding your head to the winding guitars. As with most songs that aim to by catchy, there is an abundance of repetition, but there is also an obvious attempt to abstain from using too much.
At no point does the song drag on, or lose any sort of value from over-repetition. With a distinct charisma and charm, California native Brian Warren weaves listeners through a pensive track that, in a similar vein of its predecessor, builds and builds until an obvious climax in the last 45 seconds.
A record that does not pretend to be anything that it is not, this split will serve as a proper placeholder for Sainthood Reps upcoming record. The true surprise in this release though is the strength of Weatherbox’s track, a pleasant surprise in every sense of the word. While this split is less than seven minutes long, there is nearly seven minutes of quality music present, only building the anticipation of full length releases from both of these talented artists.