Tag Team Champions is a fitting title for the new 12-inch split from Athens’ Karbomb and Atlanta’s Seagulls. Released via Richmond, Virginia imprint Say-10 Records, the effort finds two melodic punk bands trading paint and exploring one cover apiece.
“Jesus fucking Christ” are the first words uttered on side A, which belongs to Karbomb, and that’s kind of what I was thinking as I listened to these string of white-knuckle rippers. Drawing influences from A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere (I swear Thomas Barrett does backing vocals at some point) and old school, John K. Samson era Propaghandi, the group tear through their five-song set with a ferocious tenacity.
“Holy Babble” and “Tuff Shit” are two of the best offerings on the release striking hard and fast with both cuts clocking in under two minutes. Elsewhere, “Skatebreed” showcases the clean vocals the band possesses after the first three tracks were dominated by throaty screams. Finally, the foursome tackle Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” which rivals the original by taking the slower, melodic opening and ushering it into a double-time gallop.
As for Seagulls, a.k.a. your-favorite-old-school-but-modern-pop-punk-band, they are easily one of my favorite acts in Atlanta. And yet, even as I type this, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never seen them in a live setting. Their side of the split is literally a sped up version of their older material, and I mean that in the best way possible. “Night Terrors” harkens back to their All the World’s Wars days — furious, melodic, and catchy as hell. Same goes for “RobFordingTheFuckingRiver” and “Prepare to Be Underwhelmed,” both which attack with equal force and offer hooks aplenty. Meanwhile, “Jumper” is a perfect cover for the group. Whereas Karbomb adapted their cover and sped it up, Seagulls out-Karbombs them by going full throttle on a version that Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins might actually approve of. It’s an interesting approach, and the results work out surprisingly well.
Overall, the eleven tracks on this split crackle with live wire intensity, proving that Karbomb and Seagulls are indeed (undisputed) Tag Team Champions.
Karbomb and Seagulls will celebrate the release of Tag Team Champions tonight at Star Bar and tomorrow night at Caledonia Lounge. Supporting them at Star Bar are Campaign and Breaux. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. Supporting them at Caledonia Lounge are Donn Patrol and Hunger Anthem. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5.