Splitsville U.S.A.

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At the time of Splitsville's debut album, Matt Huseman and Ira Katz were still half of the Baltimore power poppers the Greenberry Woods; Splitsville USA, from the title's tongue-in-cheek homage to the old Motown slogan to the goofy cover photo, is clearly nothing more than a lighthearted goof. (The group changed directions significantly when the Greenberry Woods split up and Splitsville became Huseman and Katz' primary outlet.) Luckily, unlike many of these jokey records, Splitsville USA has the hooks and the melodies to keep the often frivolous lyrics from grating on repeated listens. In many ways, from the crunchy glam rock blare of the guitars to the goofy lyrics of songs like the punk-snotty "Sit & Spin" and the self-explanatory "Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Larry Storch, Larry Storch," Splitsville USA is like Redd Kross' early records with the cultural references updated to the early '80s (songs called "Atari 2600" and "Shrinky Dink" will raise a nostalgic smile for anyone who remembers the days of The Facts of Life and The A-Team) and a slightly less sarcastic worldview. Later Splitsville albums would be more mature, but they're not nearly this much fun.

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