From the same label that has brought LPs from Warm Brains and Total Slacker, comes a 4 way split between Gross Magic, Echo Lake, The History of Apple Pie and Novella. The split fits with the other releases on Marshall Teller as the 4 bands showcase songs that are all more fuzzy than your favourite vintage Christmas jumper and are on the borderline of having ‘a certain charm’ or just falling flat and being boring lo-fi tripe. You could expect a lot from a split 12” that features 4 of the most sought after up and coming bands this year but you’ll likely be disappointed since all 4 bands tend to release material that could merge into one song because they sound so similar.

Gross Magic manages to distinguish himself with his trademark falsetto and garage rock elements that sound close to Beck on ‘Yesterdays’. Sam McGarrigle became a favourite on the blogosphere earlier this year with the release of his debut single ‘Sweetest Touch’ which made the Teen Jamz EP one of the most anticipated releases this year and divided opinions, even undeservedly being labelled as one of the worst pieces of artwork this year recently on Pitchfork. ‘Yesterdays’ may follow the same pattern as the rest of McGarrigle’s songs but he’s cranked up the volume with heavier grunge elements.

Whereas, Echo Lake’s offering of ‘Buried At Sea’ is a woozy shoegaze effort that evolves into a strange harmonious psychedelic mess. What starts off endearing and relaxing just gets caught up in walls of fuzz, transforming from a lapping ocean of sound into murky waters. With so much going on, it’s hard to concentrate on the separate elements without getting a headache and comes off as slightly disappointing from the London five piece.

Novella, however, create similar lo-fi shoegaze pop with ‘Santiago’ but everything is clearer and comes off reminiscent of Dum Dum Girls, which is not surprising since they’re also an all-girl group. Although the same sound has been created by others such as the aforementioned Dum Dum Girls and LA’s finest summery lo-fi pop trio Best Coast, Novella still manage to sound fresh and are definitely a group to watch out for in 2012.

The History of Apple Pie are down a similar route as Novella and their sickly sweet melodies juxtaposed with grunge pop guitars makes for an interesting listen and you could say that they sound American as they’ve garnered similarities to the idealistic lyrics and that nostalgic 90s grunge sound. Stephanie even said “I prefer writing about hypothetical, sugar-coated situations/American sounds bursting through grey England. It’s more exciting that way." She’s right because THOAP give off a fun vibe and that also shows in their live performances as they mesh together well as a band. ‘Tug’ offers the same as previous singles and this has come to be their formative sound with constant strumming guitars, quiet drumming and sweet vocals delivered with a faux American accent.

Although initially, this Marshall Teller split 12” seemed disappointing, it’s definitely a grower and showcases 4 great bands that have been gathering popularity steadily this year and this release just proves that they’re set to grow bigger and better with time. This is just the start.