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THE RADIO REDS/THE NONDENOMS — Split 7”

by Ryan Snyder

Ah, the split vinyl EP: what was once the stronghold of the underground became an all-too-common novelty with the increasing popularity or Record Store Day. For a format whose sole purpose was to promote two acts at a low cost to a likeminded fanbase, it might very well have jumped the shark them Warner Bros. issued a peach-toned split of Ray Charles and Michael Buble crooning “Georgia On My Mind” earlier this year. Some, however, are keeping the faith. Greensboro punks the Radio Reds and the Nondenoms roomed together on a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it vinyl EP, released earlier this month. It makes artistic sense with the bands sharing both a genre and a scene, but the coupling works best because of the bands’ complementary nature. On one side, there’s the Radio Reds, a post-emo group hedging back toward the roots of punk while maintaining the lyrical and melodic empathy of early aught trends. Their two offerings “Throw Me A Line” and “Out of the Blue” are their strongest work yet, if their most abbreviated, selling the drama far more convincingly than their Let It Show EP did. On the other, there’s a trio of cuts strung into a single track, though saying there’s three songs there is a stretch. Opener “Flea” is claimed as the record holder for shortest and fastest punk song, and the criteria seems to be there. At half a beat long, the song’s count-off is actually longer. It’s only slightly longer successor “Theme Song” keeps the breakneck tempo and injects it with tongue-in-cheek self-efficacy. The only Nondenoms music that doesn’t feel like shenanigans is “My Day,” a rager of acceptable depth and breadth that plays like the afterword to Pennywise’s “Brother Hymn.” At under 10 minutes, it’s all a split EP is supposed to be: fast, heavy, loud and, most importantly, memorable.

74/100

The Radio Reds will perform at the Green Bean on Friday as a part of Greensborofest.

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