Label: Animal Style Records
Released: November 6, 2015
In four years of college, I did not make a single friend. My social experience was awkward and lonely at best. While that is now over twenty years in the past, Puddle Splasher reminds me rather vividly of those difficult days.
Written during the band’s first semester at college, Missed Connection is an album about being out of place. “Rotting Heart” opens the album with distorted jangle upon which its vocals glide listlessly. The music builds slowly in intensity like the increasing nervousness of a new social situation. It’s sleepy, haunting end is jerked out of its malaise by the rambunctious, raw pop punk of “Forget My Name,” not a whiney request, but a demand. The raw guitar pop of “Gentle Rain” is reminiscent of both Dave Grohl’s writing and performance, but subtly enough that the influence doesn’t overwhelm the song as it moves back and forth between anger and melancholy. The EP ends with the harder edged (and less pop-oriented) “Behind the Wheel.” Its harder edge and greater dissonance leaves the album’s theoretical connection, as the EP title implies, missed.
Missed Connection doesn’t tell the happiest outcome of life’s new experiences. It is, however, a good companion for those awkward times that hopefully ultimately resolve themselves better in the end.