Splitsville is a trio of multiinstrumentalists, brothers Huseman, Brandt and Matt and Paul Krysiak gathered around the common idea of exploring the pop horizons spread over several time dimensions.
After three albums and an EP, it seems like there’s not much unexplored corners left, though you can always expect some forgotten pop legacy finding places from a band with the Splitsville calibre.
After constant persistance from fans, Splitsville get back to the concept thay started with their Poptopia’97-limited-edition promo EP Pet Soul described as an “orchestral love letter to the likes of Brian WIlson and Lennon/McCartney (with a little Herman’s Hermits and the Association thrown in for good measure)” which was left a bit unsaid the first time around, when it comes to the list of recipients but it’s all completed this time.
The Pet Soul EP was all about what the title said while the new, improved version has it all! In both cases, the opening goes to an instrumental, apropriately titled Overture which is actually some kind of a vocal/instrumental worming-up and then a song called Forever fulfils the expectations of those who are used to the bands power-poppy side.
Aliceanna is the first from the “has-it-all” widening of the list with it’s Boettcher/Usher “associations” entering the new “millenium”, and here belong the 12-string jangle and the Byrd-harmonies of Pretty People too.
The title of Caroline Now excludes every possible hasitation about it’s content full of perfect multiplex background vocals and an arrangement of one of the most authentic Pet Sounds tributes ever which is followed by Sunshiny Daydream with it’s bullets from Sgt. Peppers’ “revolver.
Another one from the mentioned list comes in the shape of the Tuesday Through Saturday melody that “walks away” easily with the Left Banke infected with the keyboard solo that I must’ve heard “in my life” which brings us back to the jangly Rickenbackers packed in the “rubber” sounding You Ought To Know along with the Harrisolo.
One of the album highlights is certanly The Popular containing an almost silly idea of the Spector-produced Herman’s Hermits and also some Mark Johnson influences.
Of course, The Love Song Of B. Douglas Wilson is another obvious one with a borrowed fragment that “just wasn’t made for these times” and the grand-finale belongs to the sole cover on the album, the Bacharach’s I’ll Never Fall In Love Again with an arrangement, imaginative enough to leave an evident Splitsville stamp that would make proud even Burt himself.
Though not completely original, an idea realised effectively like this makes The Complete Pet Soul one of the important releases of the year!
[Released by Houston Party 2002]