Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Transparent Methadone Copyrights

The Midwest continues to uphold it's long-standing tradition of not fucking around when it comes to making the quality punk rock. Chicago and Minneapolis have always been a hotbed for such things, presumably because the weather is crappy about ten months out of the year and there is little else to do but head for the basement to rock and/or drink heavily. With bands like Dear Landlord, The Copyrights, Canadian Rifle and Methadones stalking the bars and basements of this land, it just isn't safe to be in a shitty punk band anymore.

Dan Methadone and Adam Copyright have decided to hammer that point home and found their own label called Transparent Records. It's as good an outlet as anything else for throwing away cash in this day and age. The only issue I can really take on the front end is the small issue of another longer-standing label with the same name coming out of Jersey City, but to be fair the proprietors of the Garden City Franchise seem to be more concerned with selling Star Wars cards in this day and age.

All name (and ironically enough, potential copyright) issues aside, Dan and Adam are no fools. They are thinking globally and acting locally, releasing their first product in the form of a split featuring Methadones and The Copyrights. Wonder how they scored that signing? Their shrewd wooing of up-and-coming bands has really paid off, as this split kicks a ridiculous amount of ass.

Methadones feature one Dan Schafer, who you may remember more familiarly as Danny Vapid from a little Windy City Band called Screeching Weasel. Post-Weasel, Schafer vacillated between Methadones and fellow Ramones-worshipping outfit The Riverdales before founding this incarnation of Methadones in 2001. They've dropped five full-lengths since then, mostly on Red Scare, but they sure haven't wasted all their good material on other labels. Their (virtual) side of this split, from the opening Imperfect World through What Do You Believe In? has Team Methadone turning up the heat for the rest of the pop-punk set.

Most bands would wilt in that heat and get the fuck out of the kitchen, but then again most bands aren't The Copyrights. Said Copyrights hail from Carbondale, IL, a college town known for its educational programs. It makes sense, cause The Copyrights are straight-schooling all you dummies on how to make a hooky pop song to shout yourself hoarse to. Their set last month at Insubordination Fest brought down the house and featured most of the songs on this split. Maybe is was the $2 PBR special Razorcake was footing, but 500 people going apeshit to stuff they hadn't heard before bodes pretty well for Transparent moving a bunch of this split.

I can (and will) split some hairs over the lack of song credits, especially as both bands sound kinda similar, but all the songs here are top-fucking-notch, regardless of who wrote the damn things. Props are due to Matt Allison, who recorded this at Atlas in Chicago with Neil Hennessey. He works his usual magic here, and despite a couple instances of the vocal mikes seeming to be set to the Skiba pre-set, he really captures every hooky nuance of the songs.

Transparent Records are making all the right moves with their debut release. This split sets the bar pretty damn high. There's no word on what is next from the label, but there are rumblings about the Dear Landlord full-length being next in line. It remains to be seen, but if that's the caliber of material Transparent has at it's disposal, Transparent may very well end up very much in the black.



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