by Ony Ratsimbaharison
The first half of this split, released via Crass Lips Records, contains two dark, spacey songs by Drug from Tampa Bay, FL. They lay heavy effects on danceable post-punk and darkwave. The song “Colonial Burial” is catchy and broodingly imminent, with drowned-out, barely coherent vocals. The heavy wall of sound adds to the song's sinister feel. It all explodes and disseminates at the end on a dissonant organ chord, an essential element to the band's darkness. “Lone Spacer” is similar in its energy and heavy effects, but with the organ more prominent and the cymbals crashy. The result is a dynamic darkwave punk song, which breaks and builds and ultimately disintegrates.
Joyboy, from Birmingham, AL, experiments more with their influences on their half of the split. They mix in more elements of screamo and post-hardcore in their songs, which have spiraling guitar riffs and sparse, succinct vocals. The song “Whitelightning” adds dark surf punk with spoken vocals that are spaced out and drowned under heavy riffs. The song leads straight into “French Inhale”, a heavier, more chaotic punk number. “Seance” showcases more of the band's screamo influence, and the outro further leaves Joyboy difficult to classify. All in all, however, they're an impressive punk band, unafraid to reach in any direction to inspire their sound.
Overall, both sides of the split showcase the broad and expansive nature of the punk and post-punk genres. The bands compliment each other well, each with differently developed styles. Their similarities, along with their differences, are what make each band worthy of further exploration.