by Nathan Springer (@drownloading)
Sad Cactus has been mining the East Coast, particularly the Northeast, for quality, genre-spanning music since 2014, and they have gotten very good at maintaining a roster that is both cohesive and diverse in sound. Their upcoming release, a split between Boston’s Squitch and Brooklyn’s Wet Mut, sums up the label’s knack for finding bands that fit together well without sounding too much alike. Right now you can stream two songs from the split below.
Squitch is a wonderfully herky-jerky power trio from Boston. You can hear the influence of the Boston/Providence house show circuit in their sound- the vocals are strained with emotion, and the arrangements are brash, abrasive, and catchy. “Chamomileon,” one of their offerings from the split, is beautiful and noisy, shifting between its riff-centric chorus and more loose-sounding verses. The half-subdued pace of the song swings into a punk coda before abruptly stopping and leaving you wondering what else they have up their sleeves.
Wet Mut has had a couple of consistent members, but has also included a rotating cast of players from Providence, RI bands such as Beverly Tender, Edgar Clinks, and Older Brother. The pop-experimentalism of these bands can be heard in Wet Mut, but they are entirely their own beast. “The Swimmer” is a beautiful slow jam with an incredibly memorable vocal delivery. Understated synths blend with pretty, sparse guitar before the drums come in and eventually everything culminates in a brief, ecstatic instrumental break before the songs melts into a kaleidoscopic outro.
Squitch and Wet Mut complement each other while offering two completely different musical perspectives. The split seems to come from a very wholesome place. From the bands themselves: “Squitch and Wet Mut had never seen each other play before the second proposed to the first that they record a split, but each knew of the other and liked the music. A split's fun; the two bands met while Squitch was on tour, and they agreed: "It's a go." They've since seen each other play, and both are excited to learn more about what each other’s music can do.” Preorder the split through Sad Cactus and check out the rest when it drops on June 7th.