Alt Rock Re-Framed
Jason Narducy is somewhat of a legend, having had an early start in punk rock and later contributing to acts such as Bob Mould, Robert Pollard, Telekinesis and Superchunk. He has also serves as frontman in rock band Split Single, which has recently released their sophomore album, Metal Frames.
Split Single’s Metal Frames sets a scene that’s straight out of a ’90s movie with opening track, “Glori,”—alternative rock on the heavier side with echoing vocals and edgy lyrics like “look what the Devil has drawn from you.”
This movie-of-sorts continues with”Untry Love” and later “Perilous Pill,” which are both fairly reminiscent of early Green Day, featuring a peppy pop-punk sound that is full of energy, yet relatively tame. “White Smoke” channels a similar energy, but in a minor key that gives the track a darker, more punk rock feel. Other bands that come to mind when listening to the album include Third Eye Blind, who are slightly channeled in “Evaline Make Believe,” especially with in a slide-humming effect on the guitar during each bridge. Then, closing track, “Goodnight World” sounds like a pretty clear nod to the Pixies.
The vocals throughout Metal Frames for the most part seem to determine the success of the individual tracks. It’s clear that Narducy has a soft, beautiful voice that wants to come forward and, when it was allowed to shine through without the hazy effects displayed in “Leave My Mind,” and “Silences Mercy,” the tracks give off a more unique sound, as opposed to the washed out vocals in “Untry Love,” “Still Invisible,” and “Tried Goodbye,” which are much like replicas of Green Day and even the Foo Fighters at times—understandably, this is a good indicator of why Dave Grohl is so enthused by Jason, and perhaps vice-versa.
Despite the majority of Metal Frames being washed out in a sea of ’90s alternative non-standouts, tracks like “Blank Ribbons” come forward in a glory of grunge-y goodness, while “Leave My Mind” is gentle yet enticing, and “Silences Mercy” delicately keeps the listener engaged enough to stand out in a sea of mostly dated alt-rock. Much like Jason Narducy’s famed elbows (see Portlandia), the people want more of your unhindered vocals.