Oxblood and Cabbage walk through the journey of love with self-titled split EP
Philadelphia’s basement scene breeds collaboration, and when bands aren’t lugging pounds of equipment down Mantua’s splintery stairs, they’re coming together to make some honest-to-goodness indie rock. Newcomers Cabbage and Oxblood recently released a self-titled and self-produced split EP, sharing their intimate bedroom pop with the world.
Oxblood takes the first half of the record, using the time to explore a deep gothic tale of love and the slow burn of its demise. Opening track “Ryan” dives into a slow menacing tune of the hope-to-be-forgotten boy who can’t be let go (“I’m the type of sweet that sticks way too easily / Try to wash me out, but I stain everything”), while the following “Coffin” eerily but peacefully tries to bargain with the pain, hoping the two will sleep together after their time on Earth has passed. However, “Druzy” ends the band’s block without a hint of growth, as denial sets in once again (“When you look at the moon, do you think of me?”).
The second half finds a more upbeat tone, as Cabbage throws some SoCal-styled surf punk on a self-loathing east coast sound. “Right” finds manic drums and instantly catchy guitar riffs in the middle of a losing battle between lead singer Beth Miller and her presumptive boo (“What good does arguing do? / Your hands on the steering wheel / My hands are wringing in my lap / I think you’re right”). The heavy bass intro of “Far Out” slings into a drug-fulled night of fun most regret the morning after. The record’s highlight track comes in the form of “Faster”, a slugging jam of helplessness that quickly revolts to a realization of the unhealthiness of a lifestyle (“Am I wasting my time waiting for the right time / and when that time comes am I gonna run out”).
Overall, the two bands both tackle damaging love and loss but deal with it in two drastically different ways. Oxblood’s internal battle with acceptance rivals Cabbage’s unhealthy reliance on vices and broken virtues capture how unhealthy relationships can be without the right communication. Both band’s pinpoint certain feelings of the adolescence, and do so with that Philly trademark swagger.