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Foil / Sylvie S - Split

Jame Mendenhall playing in Dopamine at Parker 2 in 2020. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Jame Mendenhall has been putting their pandemic downtime to good use. The Raymore native's first band, Dopamine, began gigging in Kansas City more frequently in 2019 and early 2020, gaining some DIY know-how along the way. Almost immediately after the lockdowns began, Mendenhall began their new recording project, Foil, posting a handful of online demo recordings and manufacturing two cassettes before the year was out.

In addition to Foil, Mendenhall has spent their time creating the tape label Dirtbag Distro, which has already issued five releases since its October inception. Seeing that rock gigs are still a ways away, Dirtbag's primary mode of networking has been through its compilations and mixtapes. Following an eclectic Halloween mixtape and an ambient/noise compilation last month, the latest collaboration is a split from Foil and Sylvie S.

Much of Foil's 2020 material featured out-of-time playing and distorted production (neither in the traditional and endearing punk rock kind of way). Those issues have not been resolved completely, but Foil's side of this split is a step in the right direction and the project's most satisfactory output yet. The three songs, if nothing else, are an interesting look at Mendenhall's palette. "Stuck In A Slump" sounds like a raw punk 45 played at 33 1/3, "Not Affiliated" mimics the scrappiness of early '10s releases from Midwestern labels like Eat The Life and Lumpy, and "1312" takes on the stompy, mid-paced sound that picked up steam in the mid-'10s and was trending downward as the world shut down.


Sylvie S is a recently-adopted alias of Melbourne, Australia musician Billiam. All three Sylvie S contributions on the split are snappy, sardonic, and nasal new wave/punk (or, "say the line, Bart:" egg punk). While the world of DIY has largely written off the sound as cheap and played out in the years following The Coneheads' heyday, enthusiasts of the sound should be excited to receive these songs. The giddy pogo beat and irresponsibly fun hook of "Lemme See That Knife" land it among the best songs in the niche genre's canon.

Stream, download, or purchase a cassette of the split below.


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