Released September 2009 by Dave Kirchgessner's Dashiki Clout label this split features two of the very best up and coming ska bands period, much less from the midwest.
The album is primarily available on vinyl in either blue or clear and features 6 total songs -- 3 by each band. You can also find it available for digital download.
The Green Room Rockers (GRR) lead off the split smooth as always with (Reggae) "Revival" and much like "Hoosier Homegrown" within the first 5 seconds you'd know it was GRR as they announce their presence. One of my favorite things about GRR is they have a tremendous passion for their music in addition to their tremendous grooves and soul feel. "Revival" features an excellent sing along chorus. "Irony" is next up with infectious horn melodies and solos. Their side of the split is concluded with "Stay With Him" which is a good song, but not quite as good as the other two. I'd take "Revival" as narrowly being the best song on their side of the split.
The Pinstripes lead off their section of the split with "Come On In". It's a departure from the beginning of the split and definitely has a more aggressive feel to it and is very catchy. The rhythmic accents in the chorus set this song apart as having a unique sound. "Cool Whip / Hot Sauce" is a dramatic departure from "Come On In" as it features a much more mellow mood and is primarily an instrumental track. There's a lot of instrumental ska out there, but the Pinstripes were able to firmly stamp this song with their own identity. Their last on the split is my favorite song of theirs and is called "Rest My Head". I really like the groove established in the introduction and the solid melodies from the horns and subtle keyboard melodies. This is also favorite my song on the split.
I'd recommend this split all the way around. It's very well put together and both bands really give it their all.
The big question with a split though is who wins? This may be the ultimate cop out answer, but I'd say the listener! :) All kidding aside I thought both bands played solid tracks.
Grade: 4 / 5 stars for both bands
Why only 4 out of 5 stars if I had so many nice things to say about it? Well, given that this is a split and basically an EP it's fairly short with a running time of 24 minutes 34 seconds.
Not sold yet? You want more proof before picking it up? Ok, check out this video put together by Ron from GRR! This is as good of a marketing video as I've seen.