Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Windowsill/New Rochelles Split

I had a great time covering the Horror Section/Eaten Back To Life split LP back in August but there's another kind of split I was hoping to come across to include in this year's batch of reviews. That is one of the 7" variety featuring bands from different countries. 7" splits are great due to the opportunity they give you to check out a couple bands in a non committal way but ones that give a look at what's going on at a global level are important to keeping a small scene like ours growing and afloat. I had heard about this particular one taking shape quite awhile ago and it's finally out for us to hear! Let's talk about a split featuring two bands on opposite sides of the globe that share a common goal, The Windowsill and The New Rochelles!

The Windowsill songs were recorded/mixed/mastered after the completion of their debut record starting in the mid summer of 2012, with the drums at their rehearsal space and all other parts finished in early 2013 at West Side Aight Studio by Simon "Speechless" Baken. The recording quality is once again impeccable for the third time that I've heard his work this year. Producer credits are shared by both Simon and Marien. The New Rochelles songs were produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered during the spring of 2012 by Greg Tamao at the Tomato Farm Studio. Release happened just yesterday on the 18th of November, a co-effort by Swamp Cabbage Records from America and Lost Youth Records from Belgium in the form of a 7" on black vinyl. 500 pieces are available and you can order them through the SCR  or LYR webstores. The songs are also streamable through through SCR's bandcamp page. 

The New Yorkers are up first on Side A. I've been a fan of The New Rochelles cartoonesque pop punk that heavily pays tribute to the godfathers of punk rock ever since I heard "This Is My LJ", a song from their first release. The lightheartedness in their approach paired with Ronnie's great vocals and talent as a songwriter make what they do kinda just stick to your brain like bubblegum. This description is proven as fact once you hear their first offering called "Hey Pizza". Any self respecting Ramones fan knows what this song is about by looking at the title but for those that need the assistance, hell yes, it's about Rock 'n' Roll High School! In the two minutes and nineteen seconds, they manage to cram in many references to the movie plot and characters. From the parents burning records to poor Joey being fed wheat germ, they got it covered and it's hilarious. Cool song! The faster "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Crawlspace" follows which is a fine display family dysfunction and that's it for them! Side B goes to the fellas from Rotterdam. I've been dizzy with infatuation for all things including  Marien Nicotine this year, from Giant Eagles to The Windowsill's releases so it was great news to see I'd be getting the chance to hear a little more of them. Immaculately arranged pop punk songs with a few extra touches of pop sensible rock 'n' roll is what you can place a heavy wager on every time from The Windowsill. With that being said, I was once again a Riff with little hearts in my eyes for their two songs. Both focus on darker subjects but come through with such a brightness starting with "She's Leaving". Beautiful guitars, solid drumming, and an amazingly powerful bridge make for a wonderful song telling the story of a love that's falling apart. Sander also takes the spotlight with some countersinging just after the bridge. I really love his vocal tone. The second track entitled, "Start Digging", seems to be a continuation from the first as a tale of dying from heartbreak. Gorgeous solo and a perfect representation of my fondness for Marien's skill as a narrator through his lyrics. He's fantastic at creating a bold visual through that and the emotional openness carried in his voice.

This turned out to be a cool little record so I recommend it be streamed and then added to your collection! Also, both bands are in the works with new projects so stay tuned to their facebook pages for all upcoming details.  

The Windowsill is...
Ivo Backbreaker- Drums
Jerry Hormone- Bass, Vocals
Sander Wired- Guitar, Vocals
Marien Nicotine- Vocals, Guitar

with additional Singing and guitar by Simon Baken

All music and lyrics by Marien Nicotine except for "She's Leaving" with lyrics by Nicotine/Hormone

The New Rochelles are...
Ronnie Rochelle- Guitar and Lead Vocals
Ricky Rochelle- Drums and Backing Vocals
Rookie Rochelle- Bass

 "Hey Pizza" written by The New Rochelles and "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Crawlspace" by Ronnie Rochelle

Side A The New Rochelles
1. Hey Pizza
2. I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Crawlspace
Side B The Windowsill
3. She's Leaving
4. Start Digging 

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