88 Fingers Louie / Kid Dynamite [I]Split[/I] Review

When I first started getting into the underground music scene back in high school, I was fortunate to have been a part of Chicago’s booming underground punk scene. One of the bands I quickly fell in love with was 88 Fingers Louie. Shortly after getting their first full-length Behind Bars, I found out that the band had broken up; the break-up however did not last long, and they came back stronger than ever with the comeback album Back on the Streets. Once again, 88 Fingers Louie would disband shortly after that release, but not before releasing the last of their material with none other than Philadelphia, PA’s Kid Dynamite. Now, I know just about everyone has heard about Kid Dynamite, so I won’t go into too much detail surrounding their history, but I will say that these two bands came together in 1999 to release one of the best split EPs ever (in my opinion).

Starting off the EP is 88 Fingers Louie with “Out There,” one of their heavier songs in their collection. This short number then bursts into one of my all-time favorite songs “Slow Chorus Overlap;” even now when I listen to this song I still find myself getting the chills. This song and the next track “Reparation” are two songs that cannot close out a band’s history any better, and truly bring to life the term “saved the best for last.”

Next up on the split is Kid Dynamite. Like 88 Fingers Louie, they also called it quits shortly after this release at the beginning of 2000. Kid Dynamite contributes two short tracks that showcase the band’s blend of melodic punk and hardcore, “Heart A Tact” followed by “Breakin’s A Memory.” To close out the disc, Kid Dynamite pulls off a great cover of the Black Flag song “Rise Above” and really closes out their career as a band just as good as 88 Fingers Louie’s songs.

If there was ever a split that needs to be owned by anyone into the punk/hardcore scene it’s this one. It’s amazing how well these two bands sound together on this split and how both their careers seem to end here. I mentioned it earlier and I’ll say it again, this disc really brings life to the term “saved the best for last.” Even though this CD might not even break the fifteen-minute mark, the staying power and intensity of these 6 songs show the listener why these two groups are legends in their hometown scenes. This disc is a must have.

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