Kind Of Like Records
Sometimes you throw on a disc and just know that you’re going to have to see it through on that first listen, right there, sitting in your car, with the engine on – even though you’ve already arrived at the mall parking lot and still have four tracks to get through. For me, that album is Direct Hit’s Domesplitter – an addicting full-length debut by a band with a unique release philosophy.
Having released five short free EPs (they liken the strategy to that of graphic novels merging individual issues) with numerical titles since 2007, the three-piece has consolidated ten of their best works, tightened them up, and rerecorded them with a masterful dose of hindsight. With all that time to ponder and iron out the kinks at live shows, dare I say that these songs could not sound better, and that you’d be hard pressed to find a more energetic collection of bear-drenched pop-punk anywhere. Just when you think you’ve heard your new favourite chorus, Direct Hit! lands another bulls eye. Few bands can completely pummel you with energy for half and hour, leave you black and blue yet still reaching for repeat, but Domesplitter does just that.
Leading the charge bolts in “Snickers Or Reese’s (Pick Up The Pieces),” a song that from my understanding serves as somewhat of a rallying cry at live shows. I can see why. Right from the moment vocalist Nick Woods yelps his first line, unsuspecting listeners will find themselves hit by a veritable sucker punch of speed and full bodied, bounding melody. It’s like a greatest hits split boasting only the finest cuts fromOff With Your Heads, Dillinger Four, and Banner Pilot. Woods trades off lines with his bandmates at a furious pace – everyone chiming in with precise timing and speed. For that matter Direct Hit! boasts impeccable songwriting, at times bombarding listeners with a barrage of vocal goodies that harmonizes Woods’ raggy call, an accompanying crowd of supporting woahs, and the auxiliary howl of backing vocalists. Simply put, start to finish Domesplitter delivers track after track of faultlessly balanced pop-punk, coming crammed with loads of little extras that reveal themselves over time.
Part of that balance rests in the trio’s great sense of spontaneous, half-baked humour. “Satan Says” lays claim to a chorus I just can’t shake – the song vaguely about someone with more than a few screws loose and their conversation with a little voice in their head. The chorus serves up pure insanity: “He gives me super powers like the wizards in “Twin Towers” / Big thanks for the vase of flowers – Sure I’ve got ten minutes, but it’s not for hours / We’re aligning planets too / That’s how you call Cthulu / No I’m not lying to you / Wait a goddamn minute, don’t push the issue.” “Boredom Addict” even turns a song about the challenges of doing absolutely nothing into one of the record’s catchiest, boasting a rapid-fire verse that effortlessly morphs into a completely overwealming chorus with the smirk inducing punch line “wondering how we’re going to turn this into a song.” You’d think they’d falter from time to time, but even their songs about pipe bomb diplomacy (“Kingdom Come”) come out swinging.
Listen upon listen, Domesplitter delivers. I can’t remember the last time I had so much outright fun getting into an album. I’ve been listening to a lot of bands that take themselves quite seriously lately, so this belted madness is far overdue and very welcome. In fact, concluding this review has proven particularly difficult because I find myself with so much more to gush over. So I’ll leave you with this: Domesplitter = earcandy. Don’t be a fool; don’t starve your ears.