Play this heavy-ass split album now. Usually in these intro paragraphs I ease into band history and thematic elements of the music. But this split album between Boston heavies Greylock and noise hellions BEDTIMEMAGIC is so urgent and immediately satisfying that formalities and niceties ain’t necessary. While their sounds are each uniquely identifiable, these two bands have a bunch in common: They both ring ears and shake stages in Beantown. They’re both two-piece battering rams of sweat, sludge, and fractured hardcore. Plus, they share in-the-musical-trenches camaraderie and mutual admiration. For this split album the artists even recorded their own version of a song by the other band. The result is like seeing a familiar composition in a funhouse mirror; a doppleganger with nightmare grins and crushing distortion. If you like riffs that block the sun, this is for you. If you like manic energy and jagged mayhem, you’re in for a treat. Decibel Magazine is pleased to share an exclusive stream of this split before it’s released on cassette by Tor Johnson Records on February 12th. Here are some thoughts from each band about their split-album allies:
“Greylock are two sweet dudes with a sweet minivan just like us. We knew we wanted to do a split with them from the first time we played together. They’re like if we went into a special futuristic machine, then came out as a sludge two-piece with guitar instead of bass and a reasonably-sized drum kit.
“Alex Allinson recorded all of our shit for the split. He’s the nicest dude. He’s really friendly and wants everyone to succeed. We did two sessions with him. His studio is like the Robocop of Fort Apache… rebuilt stronger, faster, with a cool leg gun holster thing, but you know Murphy is still in there somewhere.
“We had designs on a few of Greylock’s songs, one of which was “The Joy Virus.” “Wagon Jumper” ultimately spoke to us the most. We were only going to do, like, three songs for this split but then we had 4 minutes of music and Greylock had 35 or something. Paul from Tor Johnson said that didn’t make any sense so we added a few more tracks. It still didn’t make sense because five songs by us is still maybe eight minutes of music on a cold sleepy day. You’ll have to buy the tape to find out how we fixed this situation.”
“Doing a split likely came up in conversation at a show at some point, and having played a bunch of shows together and both being loud two-piece bands from Boston it just made sense. Covering a song from the other band was definitely Nicholas’ idea and we were totally into it when he brought it up. Seemed like a fun throwback, and since we’re both two-piece bands it seemed pretty doable.
“We knew we wanted to cover “King Size” right off the bat. The original BTM version is pretty bombastic/in your face (and only 46 seconds long) so we wanted to keep that same energy but slow it down. This was really the only unstructured song that we had when we went into record, and that was an intentional choice. We came up with the basic structure based around the lyrics, jammed it a few times in advance of the session, and then just did a few takes until it felt good. Unlike other tracks, we wanted a sense of spontaneity in there to try and capture the frantic energy that BTM usually brings. I know we were also listening to Harvey Milk’s My Love Is Higher Than Your Assessment Of What My Love Could Be a bunch at the time and used “Women Dig It” as a sort of creative jumping off point when we first started working on the cover.”
Press play below and wake up the neighbors with Greylock and BEDTIMEMAGIC.