A bromance of an emo record, the Cheem and Budris Split is like a Netflix Original about two like-minded house-show goers in the suburbs of CT–or a split personality of the same indie rock coin. While there is never a shortage of indie rock bands which celebrate that heart-on-sleeve emotional release or have an affinity for fast, noodly guitar work, the pairing of Cheem and Budris actually brings out their own distinctive characters and emotional states of each band.
Cheem, the more wide-eyed kid brother of the two, opens the record literally with a dejected “Sigh”, contrasting an upbeat rhythm and dual vocal melodies with the feeling of standing outside the door to a college party you know might get awkward as hell. Even underneath all of the melodrama and retrospective relationship bummers, Cheem never sounds alone. Burning through three new tunes fueled by post-adolescent heartache and probably some kind of energy drinks, the five-piece plays in lockstep with each other, scattering their multi-layered vocal harmonies with tight rhythmic dynamics. While the opening “don’t ask me how I’m doing” on “Migraine” is a sure to be a live favorite, the cheekily titled “American School for the Football” is likeable and lightweight transition to Budris’ stoned after-party.
If Cheem’s opening trio is the soundtrack to the kid living in the moment of a post-adolescent party, Budris’ contribution to the record captures that aimless feeling of crashing on the couch in early hours of the morning long after the party’s over. The change in mood from Cheem to Budris is pronounced in the lethargic Budris transition “We Are Clouds”, which barely musters up the hope to say “today, we’ll try to lift off the ground.” When Budris ups the distortion, the band evokes more of a moody 90s slacker crunch. Finishing the record with arguably it’s best song, “Sticky Shoes” is an upbeat and snarky closer with a catchy gang vocal that bridges the gap between the two bands and makes the record feel like a cohesive whole.
Definitely Check Out: “Sigh”, “Sticky Shoes”, “We Are Clouds”
Buy the New Cheem / Budris Split Cassette Here