SINGLE REVIEW: Territories/The Vicious Cycles split 7in (Pirates Press Records)

What better to help us through these strange times than a new split single from two of the two finest bands on Pirates Press Records?

Territories and The Vicious Cycles both hail from Canada, and met last year at Rock The Ship, the label’s 15th anniversary bash, held on a former Second World war aircraft carrier!

They hit it off like a house on fire – and the Pirates are proud to bring you this culmination of that friendship, in the form of result is this pair of new tracks, presented on a rip-roaring 7in.

The members of Territories used to be in Calgary punk band Knucklehead, who were active for nearly 20 years before splitting in 2013.

They remained friends, and decided they had unfinished business, but didn’t want to reform, so a new band was born, one which headed away from more traditional punk to a new, more modern sound.

Like The Menzingers and Spanish Love Songs, they make music full of hooks and melody, with plenty of heart too, and their self-titled debut album was one of my favourite records of 2018, understated but excellent.

A couple of standalone singles later (Quit This City/Defender is reviewed here), here we have another new track, Prairie Twister, and it follows the Territories template to a tee – a guitar riff which draws you in from the start, and a catchy-as-hell chorus, all wrapped up inside two and a half minutes.

The Vicious Cycles.

The Vicious Cycles are from Vancouver, and have been plying their punked-up rock ‘n’ roll for best part of a decade now.

They’ve released three singles and three full-length albums in that time – most recently 2019’s Motorcycho (reviewed here) and their contribution is Problem Officer.

Their sound contains elements of classic ’70s punk, garage rock and even wild 50s proto-punk, but you can guarantee they’re hook-heavy singalong moto-anthems.

Their song, all about being pulled over by the law, is a high-octane blast which has been and gone in a little over two minutes, with its outro referencing the Sex Pistols’ Problems, and leaves you wanting more.

Gary Welford owner