click here to sample the entire album!

track listing:
1. afternoon was tight click to listen
2. definitely so click to listen
3. i drive alone click to listen
4. the audio account click to listen
5. this old curse click to listen
6. the derby click to listen
7. just got back
    (and now i'm home) click to listen
8. sometimes i grow click to listen
9. don't make me rock you click to listen
10. right where you are click to listen
11. remember action  click to listen
12. where was i? click to listen
13. good heavens click to listen
14. an anthem click to listen
15. i don't believe you click to listen

The National Splits
self-titled cd
released February 2002, co-release with Blackbean & Placenta

Using the moniker of the National Splits, former Wolfie and Mathlete member Mike Downey makes his solo debut by plowing through 15 slabs of charmingly tossed-off lo-fi rock in just over 30 minutes... Downey is a capable crafter of melodies, using a somewhat wavering Bowie-on-helium croon to navigate through bleached-out country, dark fuzz pop, and new-wavish rock. Even as he sometimes seems to get too sidetracked with low-tech tape manipulation, the songs are brimming with quirky personality, whacked-out guitar solos, and shape-changing structures. Uneven to a fault, ultimately it's the haphazard and half-finished qualities in the songs that give them their charm and save the set from being just another faceless indie rock record.
— Matt Fink, AllMusicGuide.com


"hook-laden indie-pop collides with sunshine pop. the warmth and happiness creates a cosmic explosion. and the result is a slightly bubblegum, jangle-y, lo-fi pop thrill. the type of melodic gem you listen to at first, really dig, and each time you listen to it you get more and more from it, no matter how many times you've heard that chorus, those few verses that make you smile, or the lo-fi approach of the record. this is a memorable, underexposed pop treat, the kind of carefully crafted, well-thought songwriting and detail oriented melodies that seem so effortless and carefree, when in actuality are painstakingly chiseled for both enjoyment and expression. love live fun pop music with substance."
- alex, in music we trust

"main man behind wolfie and mathlete branches off onto his own ground. nasaly vocals and rock and roll. a bit more proper then the previous ventures i have heard from his other bands. definite anthems and sing alongs for the mid-western drives in the summertime."
- lo-fi junk

"the national splits is all about finding a fun catchy tune, and downey is obviously a master melody maker. the sunburned 60s psych pop of “i drive alone” or the hard piano bounce of “the audio account” show downey to have few contemporary equals in the realm of lo-fi fuzz anthems. on track after track, he pairs a catchy concise melody with a steady rolling rhythm, which when balanced with his strained nasal voice, constantly veering off course guitar leads, and an ear for adventurous arrangements makes for a consistently engaging and entertaining listen."
- matt fink, delusions of adequacy

"the musical mastermind behind the perfect pop songs found on the delightful "where's wolfie" has a new collection of, dare i say, even poppier pop songs! he is the national splits. it is an album made up of catchy tunes and clever lyrics. these are the kind of songs you'll never get bored with or tired of. so go out and get yourself a six-pack, no make that a twelve pack, of orange soda, grab your favorite guy or gal and go on a road trip with all the windows down. this is the perfect soundtrack. where's wolfie? he is right here, the national splits."
- elizabeth foster, air city

"the debut solo record of mike downey is a collection of instantly likable retro-pop that should be readily embraced by fans of everything from t. rex and early david bowie to superchunk... retro-flavored, but sharing more in common with sugary guitar pop than with raucous nuggets-style garage. something about downey’s unpretentious and unironic approach is appealing in a world of over-educated pavement knock-offs and overly-earnest crybaby boys clubs... if i could get a slightly scratchy copy of the record on vinyl, i think i could really fall in love with it."
- karen, swizzle-stick.com