Music Review: Tone Rodent / Kisser Split 7"

Tone Rodent & Kisser | Split 7"
Released May 2013
Tower Groove Records

Tower Groove Records is a record collective based out of St. Louis that has been releasing and documenting selected bands from the area for the past few years. Their current ongoing project is a year long 7" series, wherein a split single is released every month, exclusively featuring St. Louis locals. The May edition was done by Tone Rodent & Kisser, the former on the A side and the latter on the B side. The artwork on each side features an abdominal shot of one person from each band’s instrument: one side a Vox Teardrop, the other an Ibanez bass.

Tone Rodent, the quintessential post-punk mainstay of St. Louis, opens up their side with the chugging, synth-pulsing "Mayday." Interlaced with guitars that seem to glide on ice, frightened vocals wander in and out of mix. Lost forever and wandering through a dark, furniture-less marble-plated mansion, this shoegaze conjures lost dreams in the darker ends of the Creation Records catalog.

Kisser has created some of the finest angular "punk" in St. Louis in recent years. Their side starts off with notes that may or may not be in the same key as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme (the 80s cartoon). Their track "Headhunter Glassblower" ricochets off the wall and moves from a fun ‘n’ frenzied bop to a sludge-skronk slow crawl. You might end up saying, "Wow this kind of sounds like Nomeansno," or something.

A small number of these 7" were pressed in the fashion of a monthly single series, so numbers are limited. Stalling on acquiring one is not a recommendation. If you’re in the St. Louis area, the single should be available at any local record store, but if you happen to be out of the area and are looking to snag it, it’s available directly through Tower Groove on their website.

Review by Josh Jenkins