Screeching Weasel/Born Against - split EP ~ Lookout Records - 1993 ~ black vinyl /? I thought a long time about whether I wanted to post this record or not. Ben Weasel has become a bit of a pariah in the punk rock community, and though I cannot say it has been my priority to get to the bottom of it all, the parts I have gathered don't really put him in the best of lights. That said, I would be lying if I said that Screeching Weasel wasn't a pretty important band for me when I was immersing myself into punk rock in the early 90s. Albums like "Wiggle" and "Anthem for a New Tomorrow" were frequent spins on the Sanyo boombox I had in my bedroom. In fact, when MRR reviewed my first band's record, my vocals were compared to his... which I guess is a fair statement, even if the music was not that similar.
This EP is rather cool because it has two very different bands that wrote the lyrics for each other's songs. What you end up with is a pretty unique set of tracks for both bands, and I sometimes wonder if either ever gave these a live performance. I guess the highlight here (at least for me) is "El Mozote" on the SW side. It's got a brilliant Ramonesesque punk rock vocal melody, but with cutting political lyrics. Now, to be fair, many other SW songs had clever political commentary, but this one comes across as something a bit out of left field.
Though I would never call myself a big Born Against fan, their side of this EP is also an interesting listen. "Janelle" is the better song for sure, bringing a bit of a Fugazi vibe to the music that really comes across sounding thick and full of unbridled aggression, especially in the bass guitar. Damn.
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