The Thumbs/One Leaf – split 7″ (Snuffy Smile, 2001): Another excellent split 7″ released by the mighty Snuffy Smiles in Japan. Say what you will about the format, but this label has made a habit of releasing splits that are balanced and very listenable all the way through. This slab is no exception to that trend. Japan’s One Leaf starts it off with two tracks of rollicking melodic punk that Japan has become well known for – slight tinges of garage, big hooky vocal melodies and simultaneously straight forward and interesting. These songs are super catchy.
The reason I picked this up in the first place, though, is The Thumbs. My band got compared to them by a reliable source, so I figured I would check them out. Good thing because this Baltimore based group is just what I want out of a pop punk band. They’re melodic and catchy while maintaining a raw, gritty aesthetic and punk attitude. They’re songs are often political minded, but never proselytizing. They have multiple vocals, weird changes to throw you off, and a perfect sense of how long a song should be. This was some of their last recorded material and they were a band that only got better as they went along. Track down everything you can by this band.