Philly’s residential basement rockers Weller recently released a split EP with Pittsburgh’s equally emotional Rue, bringing together some of the keystone state’s best underground indie rock outfits. Each band takes half of the 6 song track list, collectively flowing through 18 minutes of relaxing vibes and self-reflective lyricism.
Weller takes the first half of the record, bringing in Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald to handle engineering, producing and mixing responsibility. The songs tackle subjects from solving an anxiety-ridden lifestyle and coming out clean on the other side, shown in opener “Buck” (“The faint emotions are retreating / The mood swings and the fights / Until I click, then the same just feels alright”) to attempting to capture the musician’s dream on “Long Shot” (“And these stupid nights begin with me / And end when we pass out close to three / I believe in you all like you believe in me”). Musically, Weller’s softer instrumentation (in comparison to their early 2016 release Career Fair) creates an uncertain mood, but at the same time shows the instrumental confidence Weller has gained playing the Mantua Yacht Club (rest in peace) over the last few years. The tracks show extreme promise for the young three-piece and continue to prove Weller as a major staple in Philly’s “catchy emo” repertoire.
Steel City’s Rue takes their three tracks to tell a story of an ill-treated partner walking away from the relationship and the subsequent emotions that follow. The band opens with a cry for help, as “The Emperor” dictates being fed-up with constant relationship abuse (“You make do or give up on the things that you love but never in your life could trust.”). “It Could Be You” displays the aftermath of the break-up, and eventual want to find someone else, even if the damage done is irreversible. The final track’s quick lyricism and off-beat percussion start the band in a manic state of mind, ending in an eventual realization of the need to move on. The ten-and-a-half minutes stack Rue up with some of Pennsylvania’s best vulnerable indie rockers and makes me hope to catch the trio in a Fishtown basement soon.
Overall, the split continues to showcase the emotional chops of Philadelphia’s emo / indie scene, and the feelings lurking the alleyways and the minds of PA’s prominent city-slickers. Listen to the split below and grab a name-your-own-price download. If a physical release is what you’re looking for, cassettes are being offered through Honest Face Records (pre-order them here).