I had never heard of Nightmares For A Week, but hell, with an awesome band name like that and the fact that they were doing a split with Banquets, I was already a fan. This split starts of quiet and slowly builds in intensity until it breaks with one of the most interesting vocals I have heard in a long time.
Canadian Tuxedo has a slight new wave influence and Dead Will Stay is quiet with an acoustic guitar, a tambourine, and a cool sing along layered vocal section. Bleach Blonde is faster than the rest of their tracks on this split – it is a fun folky rocky good time. Up to the Mountain Height is my favorite Nightmares for a Week song on this split. The vocals are bare and raspy and magnificent and the chorus is amazing, but my absolute favorite element is when the music drops out and the vocals become almost a chant, “I’ll be gone / the youth won’t be wasted on me / I can feel the western sun / kiss my neck / cut through the mid west / our sins will away”. The last track, Boiceville Inn, is an instrumental, which creates a really cool divider for the split.
In each of the five tracks by Nightmares for a week there is this really unique subtext. The music is solid yet ethereal and the vocals are calm yet passionate. There is something beautiful yet slightly ominous about the tone and cadence, yet there is always a hook, always. These songs were meant to be sung outside under the open sky with a shit load of your closest friends.
And the second half of this split belongs to Banquets, and it is no secret that I adore Banquets. Right from the get go you are sucked in and moving to the beat. Though all of these tracks have the catchy beat and cadence that we have come to know and love from Banquets, yet with more experimentation and more depth.
Two Feet starts off with minimal music and killer vocals. It accosts you and has you moving before it lulls you into its beat and totally controls you. The Engineer is a bit chaotic with a melody buried beneath it and My Moped Year is a bit more indie than their other stuff but is super fast and has a definite air of menace, especially as the music slowly lessens and it winds down to an end. Matters is fast, catchy, and will have you moving. Come Home Ragged has a really cool relationship between the music and the vocals. The vocals are in the forefront and totally highlighted, but supported by the music. And the drums…I love the drums on this track.
This split is totally a record for summer nights, deep summer nights of your youth, where the dark is comforting and the music surrounds you.