Last Friday, Toronto's Pleasance Records released a seven-inch split with four new songs by Halifax's Old & Weird and Toronto's New Fries, bands that are different in approach, but alike in the methods by which they're challenging convention. Honestly, this seven-inch super-rocks. There's a pretty good chance you've never heard anything like it, probably ever.
On "Jazz" and "Jasz," New Fries throws down some format pranks that made me jiggle the needle and check my speeds. Unpredictable beginnings and jarring transitions feel like violent breaks between the discrete crescendos of Anni Spadafora's howls. Sometimes the sounds are wobbly, other times they're precise. Lots of sparkle, such jam, many jazzes. Totally rules.
Flip it over for Old & Weird. "Yes I Care" shares some of the abruptness of New Fries, and moves from dual sing-songs to a charging bridge to a harmonic conclusion, in just over a minute and a half. On "Kirkobain" Danika Vandersteen sings, "Imagine you had a completely original idea," about Nirvana's hero. An homage that's like paying a debt, if the terms of the debt are taking something old and worn (something old and weird) and making it feel new. Not novel, not new for new's sake, but actually innovative.
Cut the sleeves off a t-shirt, put ice cubes in your socks. Fuck, it's so hot out. You need whatever it takes to stay cool. This split is it.