This is a recording for lovers of all the decades of Punk – from the dirty, raw old punk of the 60’s, to the clean almost ‘pop’ punk of the 90’s and early 00’s. This is a recording that showcases both the band’s diverse influences and instrumental and vocal punk perfection.
“FUCK YES!!” was my first thought, in the initial 30 seconds of the first song ‘Head Poisoning.’ It kicks off with a huge power chord, then boom, straight into drum and bass solo. LOVE that bass solo, emphasized with the drums, then speeds up with one of the craziest guitar solos I’ve heard, then straight into absolutely perfect punk vocals. It’s been so long since I’ve heard a modern punk recording that embraces the old school aesthetics of dirty punk!
The 2nd song on the album ‘MIA’ embraces epic 90’s pop punk, without being too ‘pop’ but is more of a mainstream song, that every Rock radio station should have included in their rotation. From the intro, with clean guitar power chords and slower steadier drum beats, it is a less hectic, more steady measured song. It is a song that captures Ben’s vocals perfectly, and is also a song that makes you sit back and listen to the lyrics. It is slightly less angsty than 90’s punk pop, and boarders on a heavy rock ballad. While ‘Head Poisoning’ was all about the bass and drums, ‘MIA’ is all about the guitar’s and Ben’s vocals. It is very cleverly written, and showcases Ben’s wide vocal range… but those drums at the end! YES!
By the time the 3rd song kicks in, I’m wondering why the band chose the name of the EP they did ‘Sub Par at Best,’ while being a very punk name, it has no bearing on the recording at all. “Time to waste”is very much like the 1st song – back to the angry, in your face, power of old school Punk, much like the Sex Pistols. I’m not sure which song from this recording I prefer, but it would have to be either ‘Head Poisoning’ or the 3rd track ‘Time to Waste.’ Both of these have the best drum and bass sound on the album. Although, ‘Time to Waste’ has a more intricate timing and way angrier vocals.
By the end of the EP, I wish that the faster, heavier, old school punk songs where the longer ones, rather than the softer 90’s ballad/pop/punk songs. I think Ben’s vocals are more suited to the angrier tones, but that could also just be my personal preference. Having said that though, the last song ‘Running away from home,’ is one that I definitely connected with. The old school power chords blend perfectly with Ben’s vocals, the steady drum beat, crash and rides and bass, all blend to create a really epic anthem song. Guitars aren’t really ‘my thing,’ but the solos in this song are very cleverly layered in. I love the crescendo in the song, around the 3 minute mark – not enough bands use these! Overall, I really enjoyed this EP, and I had forgotten how much I love PUNK! I need to get out to more Punk shows now I think \m/
1. Head Poisoning
3. Time to Waste
4. Running Away From Home
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