By AJ Phink
As with almost every split EP and album I’ve encountered this is a story of two very distinct halves, the first half dozen tracks feature the debut solo release by Philadelphia’s Jake Clarke, who is best known for the two albums that were recorded with Superheaven, whilst the flip side features fellow Pennsylvannians Spur, who bring their impressive shoegaze influenced dream punk sound to the split. This album will be released via the Disposition Collective on the 3rd February 2017, the vinyl edition, that will be issued on black and swirl variants, is now available for pre-order, and the digital version of the album will be available from the release date.
Jake Clarke‘s first solo effort continues where Superheaven left off, Get It Together kicks off Jake Clarke‘s half of the split, this track is the closest to his work with his former outfit as it’s a subdued grunge influenced number, after this things a mellower turn, and in the case of Part 2, a spacier more experimental approach is evident. This is Jake Clarke‘s first solo release and he has delivered a stripped down version of Superheaven‘s trademark sound, this is a much more sensitive recording than his fans will be used to, but it’s one that carries the same sensibilities as his former outfit.
Spur bring their indie influenced dream punk and they bring this release to life, there’s a clear influence from a broad range of styles, including shoegaze, emo, post hardcore and the indie scene of the late eighties on their side of the split, and it’s one certainly carries more energy than the subdued half dozen songs from their counterpart on this split. The stand out track on the album comes in the form of the much darker and heavier number, Freeze, along with this you get three breezy energetic indie influenced numbers and they close their side with the dark and dramatic piano led number, Moon.
With any split release you are going to find yourself falling for one half of the EP, for me Spur‘s contribution was one that had more of an appeal, but that’s not to dismiss Jake Clarke‘s contribution, as the two artists featured on this album do compliment each other nicely. Jake Clarke‘s debut solo release gives you an indication of the direction he’ll be headed in when his debut full length is released, and Superheaven fans will not be disappointed by the road he’s headed down. Spur have marked themselves as a band I’m going to be watching closely, the variation across their five tracks indicates they are no one trick indie pony, the contrast between the light energetic upbeat compositions and their darker fuzzier alter ego has certainly piqued my interest.
The Jake Clarke / Spur Split Album is available for pre-order here