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July 13, 2024

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The National Splits
Fontana (recordhead & mr. whiggs records)

By: Alex Steininger

On their second full-length, Fontana, The National Splits serve up indie-folk, pop-laden, and even country-tinged songs, all written by front man Mike Downey. Sixteen tracks that weave through the subtle to the jangle-y, The National Splits keep things interesting, picking up and slowing down the pace as needed, ensuring a smooth ride. Though, the album's weakest link is, at times, Downey's own voice, which seems strained or forced alongside his effortless hooks and stripped down, organic sounding folk-pop compositions. Still, lyrically and musically the band makes up for it, and often drowns the listener in enough distract that Downey's voice blends enough that it begins to grow on you. I'll give it a B-.
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