Whereas most of Finnish (hc-)punk seems to be centered around critique and cynicism, this split unites two bands whose lyrics are about peace, optimism and idealism. The hand-drawn minimalistic artwork is a bit bleak, but don't let it fool you.

The Escapist's side opens with a light tune that has some slight vibes from both cheery ska and melancholic punk rock, and as such sounds rather original. The song isn't as striking as it could be, since the separation between the harsh shouted vocals and the light punk rock is quite a big one - at least until you get used to it. The vocals aren't that good technique-wise, but they have a lot of emotion and sheer effort which makes them pleasing. "The Sons" is a simpler tune, but it's still a good one. Its simplistic and repetitive chorus is appealing, as are the songs' idealistic lyrics.

The band still has work to do when it comes to channeling more energy and liveliness into their recordings and to imbuing more personality and originality into approach, but the basis of their style and expression is already in check. This band might become something very noteworthy if they work hard on their music - especially since this kind of punk is rather rare in Finland.

6½ / 10

Slack Bird is a one-man band with occasional reinforcements. Its first song on the split is a rather brisk, catchy yet simple tune that relies on acoustic guitar and spoken-like male singing. It's tastefully backed by an upright bass, a mandolin and even a rather well played harmonica when the vocals are absent. Whereas this song is rather serious and tasteful, the second one is a lot more playful and intentionally silly. The minimalistic guitar-focused piece has a couple of passages played on something kazoo-like and rather sarcastic lyrics, but if you get used to these things, the song will turn out to be rather pleasing.

If compared with Slack Bird's earlier five-song tape, these two songs are all-around better. The lyrics make more sense, the songs are more memorable, and the mixing is better. The additional instrumentation is used to a greater effect, too. Well done.

I had my reservations about Slack Bird based on their debut tape, but these two songs bring out the band's strengths in a surprisingly flattering manner. I'm pleased, and now I'm looking forward to hearing more. I hope the additional instruments will be used in a more prominent and bold manner in the future, akin to the opening tune "Utopiapäissään."

7½ / 10

I initially felt like a fish out of water with this 7", but soon enough I started to get into it and to like it. It ain't a bad split, surely, even if both of the bands could make bolder choices with their instrumentation and compositions. Both bands are a welcome add to the canon of Finnish punk.

7- / 10