The Fall of Richmond

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This split EP has a slight Civil War theme that doesn't really go further than the cover art and the two bands' hometown affiliations, but the songs still pack quite a punch and make at least half the record worthwhile. Avail's first two tracks, "New No. 2" and "Lombardy St.," both appeared on the band's follow-up, Over the James, though the latter of the two has a great acoustic first half that was later replaced with a full-on attack for the entire song. Virginia's favorite sons close out their contribution with a thunderous cover of Billy Joel's "You May Be Right," giving the track more energy than imaginable while never denying it the glory of its classic catchy melody. (Young) Pioneers aren't really as good, and their brand of short and dirty-sounding punk rock & roll takes up the remaining five tracks (save for a short spoken interlude in French). Their recording is pretty uneven, and while the songs have more than enough heart, they just aren't particularly fun to listen to. The two different bands sound wildly different, but based on Avail's poppy delivery, the crusty screams of their cohorts really don't measure up. Nevertheless, fans will still appreciate a great alternate version and a playful cover from a band that continuously puts out great punk rock.

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