In conjunction with the release of their second LP on June 8th via Altercation Records, we have teamed up with melodic garage punk rockers THE SPLIT SECONDS and their vocalist Drew Champion to give you a first hand commentary of each and every single track from the record!
“Counterfeit Reality” was released on June 8th via Altercation Records. THE SPLIT SECONDS will be celebrating the release of their second LP on June 30th at the Black Cat in Washington D.C. The band will be also performing at this year’s Warped Tour!
I wrote Everybody’s Wrong to express a rejection of the dominant culture that places subjective feelings above objective truth. The simple, brash verses express the struggle to remain committed to truth when surrounded by madness. These verses are paired with choruses exclaiming a defiant release from delusion. A wider melodic range and consonant chords in the bridge symbolize a hopefulness that reality will prevail and sanity will once again reign supreme. The barren instrumental middle section with chromatic bass line and dissonant guitar line signifies the desolate chaos and building tension of living in a culture composed of a mish-mash of incoherent and inconsistent ideologies.
Used to Be Nice
Used to Be Nice is a semi-satirical song about the feeling that we’ve all had when our kindness has been taken advantage of and we say, “Screw it, I’m just gonna be an asshole.” It’s over-the-top, but communicates a core truth that operating in the world with unconditional unreciprocated kindness is not an option. Virtue needs to be a two-way street. The major-key tonality of the song played with punk-rock power chord downstrokes, and bouncy snarling twang of the instrumental middle section reflects the kidding-but-not-kidding lyrics.
Dirty Shirley is the fictional account of a rendezvous with an Australian lady of the night. We set out to write a fun ripper of a song with lyrics that made us crack up. The Split Seconds’ first full-on foray into psychobilly, Dirty Shirley is an homage to some of our influences like The Living End, The Stray Cats, and Reverend Horton Heat and gave me an opportunity to gratuitously show off on guitar.
The Fortunate One
I wrote “The Fortunate One” originally when he was 18 and produced an unreleased version with his previous band, “The Coastals”. After some rewriting and polishing we were happy to put it on this record. It’s about an acquaintance who grew up with all of the advantages of money, status, and privilege. However, these blessings were squandered; eventually he became a prisoner to his own addictions and suffered a long and hard fall from grace.
Punk Rock Blacklist
Punk Rock Blacklist is our obligatory ska-punk song on the record, and is an indictment of the self-contradictory culture of PC Punks who preach tolerance, open-mindedness, and freedom of expression, but engage in prejudice, groupthink, and thought policing. This PC punk ethos is antithetical to the core punk tenets: breaking taboos, promoting freedom of thought and expression, and encouraging individuality. In both style and spirit, The Split Seconds are a return to form.
I wrote Dear Cynthia on the road after breaking up with a long-time girlfriend and engaging in a series of shallow hookups. These fleeting engagements only inflamed the emptiness of not being in a solid relationship with a solid girl. The name Cynthia comes from Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon’s first wife, who was left behind by John when The Beatles became popular. The lyrics were heavily inspired by an anecdote from jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker. Near the time of his death he returned to his ex-wife’s home in the small town he grew up in and said to her that he never should have left. All of the excesses that came with his success as a musician never provided the fulfillment of the life he had left behind.
I wrote this song in a hungover haze of cigarette smoke and burnt coffee while bouncing back and forth between work, the studio, and the road. It’s about being compulsively committed to rock and roll and the lifestyle that goes along with it – the drive to express pent-up aggressive and destructive urges, and the deadly dopamine drip of alcohol, adoration, adrenaline, and applause. This is the most straightforward punk rock tune on the record and was written during a Dead Boys listening binge. The repetitive rhythmic figure that punctuates the song expresses the dark and intense compulsions of addiction, and the prevalent feedback and raucous guitar solo express the feeling of just barely holding things together.
Where Have All The Good Men Gone
This song found its inspiration in a trend that we observed among young women trying to navigate modern urban love and relationships. We saw the blurring of lines between decent and indecent behavior, the ease of obtaining sex through manipulation or empty promises, and the general fearful confusion about commitment. We witnessed time and again these patterns leading young women with the greatest desire for love and security into unhealthy situations with men of the worst character. The arpeggio lead line suspends over the underlying chords to express yearning, and the contrast between the subdued verses and lush choruses attempts to highlight the tension between coldness and vulnerability in the lyrics.
Get The Hell Off The Beach
Named for a quote from a hilarious press conference by the Governor of New Jersey and Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, Chris Christie, this surf-punk tune is our homage to bands such as Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, The Ventures, Dick Dale, and Reverend Horton Heat. With so many songs about dark and serious topics we decided it was time to lighten the mood with a fun instrumental.
Little Lizzie Icepick
Little Lizzie Icepick is The Split Seconds’ attempt to capture the sound and vibe of The MC5, an American proto-punk band from the (formerly) industrial town of Detroit. This song came out of a run-in with a particularly annoying champagne socialist who was intent on exporting the revolution to The Split Seconds. The original title of this album’s instrumental was “The Safe Space Stomp”, an inside joke since we figured that a song without words could not offend fragile sensibilities. Our “friend” didn’t appreciate that a cis-gendered man of European descent would make such a joke and expressed her feelings with a minutes-long bigoted verbal assault on me. So we wrote this song.