The idea behind this split is somewhat unique, but it’s not the first time something like this has been done. There are many splits out there where bands cover each other’s songs, and it’s somewhat of a tradition. Sometimes the splits are straight up covers where the song being covered has already been released prior to the split being released, so the band doing the cover already has an idea of the song’s melody. Then there are other splits where the song being covered has not been released, and the band doing the cover is handed over the lyrics and they’re left to their own devices musically. Lastly there are splits where the lead singer of each band on the split swaps bands and covers the other’s song(s).
This split featuring The Wonder Years and Motion City Soundtrack actually falls into two of those categories. The lead singers of each band swapped outfits and each act’s respective songs had not been released prior to the split being recorded. So you have the bands playing the songs they know and wrote, only with a new singer that doesn’t really fit their respective molds nor does he know how the song is supposed to be sung.
The Wonder Years song being covered is “A Song For Patsy Cline” off their latest album No Closer To Heaven. The title of the song on this split is also re-worked to be “(Sort Of) A Song For Patsy Cline.” The Motion City Soundtrack song being covered is “It’s A Pleasure To Meet You” off their latest album Panic Stations. For the split the song’s title was also re-worked, becoming “It’s (Sort Of) A Pleasure To Meet You.”
Initially there was some confusion about this split, with some people thinking it was a tour exclusive or would be sold on the band’s co-headlining tour. This stemmed from the fact that the split was announced after the start of the tour with a scheduled release date during the tour, and that people who ordered the VIP ticket package had first dibs on ordering a copy of the split online ahead of the general public (October 9 instead of October 12) through an exclusive access code. As a result many people thought a couple things; this was a tour split and you could pick up a copy ordered online at your respective tour date during the VIP events. Both of those speculations turned out to be false, as the entire pressing of this split 7″ was sold online and would only be available online through mail-order. Another crucial fact that was wrong about this was a huge lie about VIP ticket package purchasers having exclusive first access to the ordering the split on October 9, as the general public could order copies on October 9 without orders being cancelled. It might have been a glitch, but no official statement from Merchnow nor either of the bands about it. In the end it wasn’t that big of a deal because the split didn’t sell out in one day let alone a few hours or minutes.
There were 2,000 total copies of this split 7″ pressed; 1,000 copies on red and 1,000 copies on green. Upon getting my copy in the mail there is a sticker on the cover that says opaque red instead of simply red. I’m not sure of the green is opaque or translucent.
One thing that surprised me about this split is that it sold very slowly at first even though the general public could buy it the same day as the “VIP exclusive” pre-order. Hopeless and both bands even posted on social media that it was available for purchase, and it was posted on a message board when members there figured out that anyone could buy it, not just VIP purchases.
About 300 total copies were sold until a few days later, October 12, 2015, the day of the on sale to general public. Once the bands, mainly the Wonder Years, posted about the split being available to the public it sold very well, but still took over one day to sell out. Which was surprising given The Wonder Year’s rabid fan base.
What was even more surprising is that the green variant sold out much faster than the red. The green sold out in a little over one day, but the red still had just under 300 copies left at the time green sold out. Why this happened I have no clue. Green was not a Wonder Years exclusive color. In fact, neither color was a band, tour or exclusive to anything. The red copies sold out in a couple days.
The split comes in a regular jacket with no insert or anything of that nature. A download card is included though, for high quality 320 kbps MP3s.