Here’s a great little Paper + Plastick release that will appeal to fans of Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem, or Social Distortion maybe moreso than the “traditional” folk punk album (humor me and pretend that’s a real thing).
The Tin Horn Prayer side of this split is a great showcase of Americana/country-Western influenced part of punk. I don’t wanna say Social Distortion “lite,” but these songs definitely remind me of the some of the more emotional tunes from that band. As the cover art might suggest, I can completely imagine myself driving cross-country with these tunes playing on the radio. Full of sliding twang-y guitar and never-stagnant banjo, these are 2 great energetic songs by a band I’m definitely going to keep my eye on. I’d love to see “All’s Well That Ends” performed live, as I can totally see it being a 10 minute cow punk jam session. The half of the split gets a solid 8/10.
Secondly, the Rod Huddleston side. Whatever punk sound existed in the first half now gives way to a pure heartland/country style, but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless. The instrumentation here is beautiful in its simplicity, mostly consisting of one acoustic guitar, one violin, one electric guitar, and one banjo, none of them overbearing. The intro to the first track “Lucky Ones” feels empty, but a purposeful empty, fitting right in line with the lyrics.
The second track is the more interesting of the two to me. While the lyrics and the music immediately scream Tom Petty, the chorus, with belting harmonies, bears an interesting resemblance to some elements of pop punk. Then back to country, then back again to the chorus. It may seem a bit inconsistant, but maybe that’s why it works as well as it does. Again, this track shows a striking balance that is well-crafted and intentional. This side also gets a solid 8/10, rounding out the entire split with an even 8/10. The bottom line: Both bands showcased a good deal of variety, not an easy thing to do in 2 songs.