Victoria’s Babysitter kick things off with a couple of fast, somewhat-sloppy, somewhat-hooky but not-actually-that-melodic songs. The production values on the split aren’t really the best (which I suspect is by design) and the vocals are a bit shouty and too gravelly. I’m not wowed by much except the hi-hat work, which unfortunately only betrays the sloppiness of the off-meter snare rolls.
The third song, “Cemetary House,” starts out with a very melodic guitar line which is catchy as heck until you realise it’s actually the Cure‘s “Just Like Heaven” guitar hook played backwards. The rest of the song then breaks down into annoying noise, which ruins it until the Cure hook resurfaces. The last song by Babysitter is a sort-of “Louie Louie” in the Black Flag sense, and then we get into the second half of the split.
Sacramento’s Monster Treasure is a bit of a contrast, using dark melody, good harmonies, and a consistent tempo. There is something washed out and distant about the production, especially in the vocals, as if the band and the listener are at opposite ends of a long storm drain. A sound reminiscent of Vivian Girls, but not as good. Neither band is bringing anything new or groundbreaking to the table, and no one song stands out enough for me to recommend.