Friday, 26 May 2017

Colin's Punk Rock World Playlist: May 2017

Here's what Dan, Emma, Omar, Pan, Robyn, our new friend Lauren and myself have been listening to this May.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Top Tens: Colin's Top Ten Jeff Rosenstock Songs

I got to see Jeff Rosenstock again on Tuesday night. I absolutely love Jeff Rosenstock. Not just his amazing music but the whole punk rock DIY ethic he lives his life by. The man is an inspiration to everyone that knows of him. He is one of the true, great icons of our generation. People will tell Jeff Rosenstock stories forever. He has had a long and storied career in this little obsession we call punk rock music so I thought it was only right to attempt a top ten Jeff Rosenstock songs. This top ten is my picks from my three favourites of his musical endeavours - his first band The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches, the legendary Bomb The Music Industry and his current project, simply named Jeff Rosenstock.

10. Wave Goodnight To Me Tonight (Jeff Rosenstock - Worry)

Wave Goodnight To Me Tonight Was Written by Jeff Rosenstock as a thank you to those who donated money after the band's van was broken into in San Francisco. It's on the newest album, Worry, and is more of an indie rock song rather than the chaotic punk we might be more accustommed to from Mr Rosenstock.

9. So Let's Go Nowhere (Arrogant Sons Of Bitches - Three Cheers For Disappointment)

The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches and So Let's Go Nowhere were my first bits of Rosenstock exposure and I was instantly hooked. I loved the upbeat, high tempo ska punk. There is also so much of the chaotic nature that has been present in much of Rosenstock's music that endeared him to the masses.

8. Nausea (Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?)

Nausea was the first single off of Jeff's second "solo" album, We Cool? A big theme of that album is approaching your thirties and wondering what you've accomplished so far in your life. Nausea in particular focuses on this as it tells a story of how Jeff would avoid conversations with family and friends because he didn't know what he wanted to do with his future. How many of us have been there? I certainly have!

7. Festival Song (Jeff Rosenstock - Worry)

Festival Song was definitely the stand out track from last year's album Worry. Starting out with a chorus of "Whoa-ohs", it's immediately a sing-along fun time. Festival Song is a song about playing shows that you don't really want to because of the good money you'll get paid.

6. It's Official! We're Booooorrrrring! (Bomb The Music Industry - Goodbye Cool World)

What I loved about Bomb The Music Industry was just how much is going on in their music. It always felt like a lot of their songs were a jam by people who could barely play their instruments, rather than wonderfully crafted songs by an amazingly skilled group of musicians. This is something that really made BTMI loved - they didn't come off as superstar rockstars they were one of us! It's Official! We're Boring is a song about going against the grain, standing up and doing your own thing.

5. The First Time I Met Sanawon (Bomb The Music Industry - Adults!!!: Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!!)

I love the chorus of "As We Get Older Every Day Feels Longer, And Although I Know I Struggle I Will, Do My Best To Never Get Tired" on The First Time I Met Sanawon. It's a proper gang vocal moment that I adore. The whole song is an upbeat, fast paced affair that will get fans dancing and singing as if their lives depended on it. The track sees Jeff return to more of a ska punk sound that he does so brilliantly well.

4. I'm Serious, I'm Sorry (Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?)

I'm Serious, I'm Sorry is an incredibly emotional song that really shows off Jeff's skill as a songwriter. It's a song that tells the story of the regret that Jeff felt when he went to a party and his friend had a breakdown but he was too drunk to help her. Throughout the song you can really feel the pain that Jeff is feeling. The way the song builds towards its ending is hugely draining, every time I hear this song it really get me and pulls my heart strings.

3. Future 86 (Bomb The Music Industry - Album Minus Band)

Future 86 is a rare slow paced Jeff/BTMI song. The majority of the track is just Jeff and his guitar before he is eventually joined by the rest of the band for the big climax of the song. The song is about being on tour and struggling with life away from your loved ones. This is one of Jeff's most beautiful and touching songs and the way it performed is just masterful.

2. You, In Weird Cities (Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?)

Every couple has songs that they consider "our songs". You, In Weird Cities is one of mine and Emma's. It's about living apart from the people that you care about and using music to help you feel close to them. This was so relevant to me and Emma at the beginning of our relationship as we lived two hours apart and didn't get to see each other anywhere near as much as we'd like. It's a fast paced punk rock track that starts like a bomb going off and is full of so much passion and energy it's impossible not to love this song.

1. I Don't Love You Anymore (Bomb The Music Industry - Get Warmer)

This was the first Bomb The Music Industry song I ever heard. It's a party song, it's upbeat and you will dance like it's the last time you will ever dance. It's a crazy amount of fun. A lot of people think that I Don't Love You Anymore is a break up song but it's actually about feeling like you drink too much and wanting to kick the habit. Jeff brilliantly uses relationships as a metaphor. I love a party song that actually has a real sombre tone when you look at it more closely.

This top ten was written by Colin Clark.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Album Review: Responsibilities by A Great Notion

A Great Notion are a three-piece punk rock band from Peterborough. Their sound has evolved from a one-man acoustic act to a louder, full band folk and Americana-influenced band. We recently caught some of their set at Manchester Punk Festival and I was particularly impressed by them – their sound is certainly my cup of tea. Their new album, Responsibilities, was released the week after MPF, on the 28th April by Aaahh!!! Real Records. Jordy kindly posted us a copy of the CD, after reading our MPF review, and I was keen to take a listen.

Responsibilities kicks off with Save Me Jerry, a fairly distortion heavy song that has an almost grungy feel to it – almost. But Jordy's vocals are clearly more rooted in folk or Americana-style rock and that’s just how I like it. The song is about drinking (Sailor Jerry rum, for example) in an attempt to solve your problems. It’s a short song at just over 2 minutes and is very much suited to opening the album. The alcohol theme continues into the second track, Whiskey & Blood. Unlike the first however, this one features pounding drums, a fast pace and far more of a punk rock intro. Gruff punk meets Americana that is sure to get your head nodding, whilst metaphorically hitting you in the face. This is a singalong, fists-in-the-air feel good punk rock affair and the vocals on the chorus actually remind me of The Bouncing Souls, weirdly.

Les McQueen Was Right continues the more upbeat nature of the previous track, this time taking a turn away from the alcohol theme – just when I was starting to think the band were alcoholics (just kidding!). Instead the subject of this song is nostalgia. Or more specifically, thinking back to a time when things seemed simpler – you could call it the good old days and it’s something we’re all guilty of doing. ‘We move on, We grow old, We look back, We hold on, Then realise it’s all the same.’  It almost seems like the songs so far are paired together in their themes, as the fourth song, Something To Lose, is also about looking back at the past to a certain extent. Things were easier ‘back then’ when you didn't have anything to lose. This song features some great harmonies, showing that the full band adds more than just volume. A fairly repetitive but catchy track. Great stuff.

Next up is Hey Happy!, a song that, ironically, doesn't sound too happy to start with thanks to a melancholic solo guitar riff but when the drums kick in with more melodic guitar the mood lifts. This song is simply about being happy because you know someone else is happy, perhaps after they've been through a rough period. There’s a great little folky almost country-style guitar riff and layered vocals that really make the song. After Hey Happy! comes Favourite Lines, a song with a big sound and a big intro. It is slower paced than previous songs on Responsibilities but the change in pace is welcome. Favourite Lines has slightly different sound altogether really, it’s maybe even a bit bluesy and is packed full of emotion. There are some great melodic guitar parts in between verses to once again get your head nodding along. Just when I thought this was a more negative-sounding song we come to the end and the line ‘It will be alright’ is repeated in an uplifting manor.

The next song is one that I recall hearing live when we watched A Great Notion at Manchester Punk Festival in April, just before the album was released. It's The Waiting I Can't Stand is a punchy little number with vocal parts dispersed with the drums, bass and guitars. I guarantee the chorus of ‘Are we just waiting? For this to go wrong.’ will be lodged in your head after one listen. This is another head nodder – hell, they all are – and maybe a bit of foot stomper too. The eighth track, Stronger From Mistakes, brings a surprise with it. Here A Great Notion returns to their roots for an acoustic track – the only one of the album. As much as I'm loving the full band sound, this is a refreshing change for the album. ‘You know I’ve got to go get away, Got to go find away, I’m never going to change my mind, No, no not this time, All that I can do is try, All that I can do is try, All that I can do is try, try, try, try.’ If at first you don't succeed, you know what to do – try, try, try. You can do it.

The penultimate song of Responsibilities is titled Medicine & Books and it sees the full band return and on top form too. This song has shouty gang vocal verses while the chorus is far more melodic. It’s a great combination and there’s no denying just how catchy that chorus is – even if it is only two lines repeated over and over. ‘Don’t wait for me, I’m not coming home tonight.’  Five Thousand Strong is the album’s closer, an almost acoustic track to begin with that weirdly reminds me a bit of Dolly Parton’s Jolene – haha (sorry). The first part of the song features simple muted electric guitar and vocals alone before the drums tempt the listener into one last full band party around the halfway mark – it definitely feels like an album closer. Listening to the recorded version of this song for the first time, I realised that this is the track I spoke about in my MPF review. Five Thousand Strong is about playing music for the love of it, regardless of who is watching and, if just a handful of people turn up, you'd put on the same show as if there was a hundred people in the room – or five thousand in this case. ‘Even if there’s only 5 people in this room, we’re gonna sing like we’re 5000 strong, Our tongues’ will spit the words while our hearts keep the beat, and we’ll sing like we’re 5000 strong.’

I knew I’d like this album because A Great Notion play my sort of music but I wasn’t prepared for Responsibilities to be quite this good. I love it. I hope you do too.

You can download/stream the album here on Bandcamp and find A Great Notion on Facebook here.

This review was written by Emma Prew.

Gig Review: Flogging Molly at Morgantown Amphitheater, West Virginia 19/5/17 (by Lauren Stein)

Before Friday night, I had never heard Flogging Molly. I had heard of them, of course. They've been around long enough that it's pretty much impossible to avoid the name. And, technically, I have heard some songs in the past; a friend attending their Salty Dog cruise in March bombarded me with footage. But on that same boat Less Than Jake's Roger Lima was standing in for Eric Melvin and killing it with NOFX, so forgive me if my attention were elsewhere. I didn't have anything against the band itself; I just never really sat down to check out their music.

But I'm never one to turn down a show, so when a buddy was looking for company I gladly said yes.

That's how I ended up at Morgantown Amphitheater on a warm Friday evening, about to see three bands I knew nothing about. The amphitheater was located in a small park in Morgantown, about half a mile from its sister venue Mainstage Morgantown. It was a surprisingly intimate venue, divided into lawn, benches, and pit. I always like to be right up front where the action is, so we arrived early to check out merch (Flogging Molly gets bonus points for rad womenʻs shirts) and get a spot on the rail.

It was a good thing we did, since music started right at 6:30 with Dublin-born singer-songwriter Dylan Walshe. Walshe played a mix of his own songs in addition to some Irish and British folk songs. Clearly skilled on the guitar and with a solid voice, he provided an entertaining start to the evening. It was a shame that the venue was still mostly empty during his set; he was a solid opener.

Next up was The White Buffalo, who my friend was especially excited to see (their songs have been featured on the TV show Sons of Anarchy). This three piece group exuded stage presence and enthusiasm. I have literally never see a drummer smile so much. Their songs ranged in genre from upbeat rock and roll to depressing Americana, but they were always well-executed and enjoyable.

Around 8:30, as the sun was setting, Flogging Molly went on. As the band took the stage, I recognized a familiar face: bassist Nathen Maxwell, whose band The Bunny Gang had opened up for Less Than Jake earlier this year (they were good). Flogging Molly wasted no time in getting down to business and the stage erupted with sound. I hadnʻt realized how large the band was: seven members (two guitarists, drummer, bassist, fiddle, accordion, and mandolin/banjo). The result is an amazingly rich sound that immediately gets your toe tapping.

The music was fast and catchy and just plain fun. Frontman Dave King clearly loves what he does, and either heʻs younger than he looks or is in incredibly good shape, as he was bouncing around the stage in a way I wouldnʻt expect, including a bout of Irish dancing. Despite the energy that was flowing from the stage, the pit was surprisingly sedate. People barely moved at the beginning of the set and moshing was non-existent until about halfway through, when the band played "Devilʻs Dance Floor." Perhaps the crowd just needed time for the alcohol to soak in, as it was increasingly rowdy from there on out.

Most of the evening was somewhat of a blur; without knowing any of the songs or getting a setlist, itʻs hard to give a play-by-play of the night. Every so often they played a song from their upcoming album, Life is Good, which revealed a benefit of going into a show blind: I wasnʻt inherently biased against the new material! Letʻs be honest, though: if you know the band well enough to recognize the songs, you probably have a good idea of what their live show is like: crazy entertaining. By the end of the night, I was exhausted from dancing my butt off. The music was fun, the energy was infectious, and (eventually) the crowd was along for the ride.

Many (most?) people donʻt like the idea of going to see bands theyʻve never heard of. And I get it: tickets can be pricey, drives can be long, and time is at such a premium that people only want to spend it on sure bets. But sometimes, if you take a chance and give that new band a shot, or even just arrive early enough to hear the supporting acts, you can discover some new favorite music. Flogging Molly has definitely entered my music rotation and Iʻd absolutely go back next time theyʻre in town.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Gig Review: Forever Unclean at The Unicorn, Camden 17/5/17

What is the best way to cure a rubbish day at work that involved walking around in pouring rain for eight hours? Going to Camden for a punk rock show, of course! Danish skate punks Forever Unclean were in town to celebrate the release of their newest EP Float, which was released on Disconnect Disconnect Records in March. The show was at The Unicorn pub and had a stacked line up featuring Cereal Box Heroes, Fastfade, On A Hiding To Nothing and The Run Up. And the show was free! Result!

This was the first time either Emma or I had made the trip to The Unicorn and neither of us were completely sure where exactly it was. After a quick check of Google Maps we soon discovered The Unicorn is a twenty minute walk from Camden Town station, in the rain. (Google didn't tell me about the rain, I could tell that from the drops of water that were falling from the sky onto my head). When we eventually arrived at The Unicorn, we were fairly soggy and opening act Fastfade had begun their set.

Approaching the stage, I was excited to hear that Fastfade were playing a Lagwagon cover. Being the day after Lagwagon Day (May 16) the band played Mr Coffee and sounded fantastic. I like to think that if they had played a day earlier they would have played May 16. Fastfade also did a cover pf Green Day's When I Come Around. These covers were fun but I was most impressed with Fastfade's original material. This was fast, snotty, 90s-style skate punk that was full of attitude and great fun to watch. These three guys all looked quite young so it was kind of refreshing to hear them play such a style, especially as they probably weren't alive when it was at its peak. What was even more refreshing was that they played it really, really well. Fastfade are a really talented young band who, with a lot of hard work, could make a good name for themselves. I will be watching out for these boys.

Next up were Cereal Box Heroes. Cereal Box Heroes are a three piece band from London who I've been aware of for a while but have never seen live. This was a mistake - I should not have waited so long. Cereal Box Heroes were just completely ace. The band played fast paced, in-your-face pop punk with bassist Dominic and guitarist Conor sharing vocal duties. Tonight's set list was comprised of mostly Conor songs, something he wasn't too keen on and jokingly complained about throughout the set. The entire Cereal Box Heroes set went by like a whirlwind which is also how I would describe their presence on stage. There isn't a moment when any of the three members of the band are stationary of stage and they put everything they have into their performance. Fantastic set.

Following Cereal Box Heroes were another London based band I've been aware of for a while but never seen - On A Hiding To Nothing. The four piece are one that CPRW's Dan Peters has been raving about for a while and now I really understand why. Playing 90s influenced USA skate punk with a British charm, I found myself wondering why exactly this band aren't on more line-ups in London. They played a selection of songs from their previous two EPs, 2015's self titled and 2017's Formaldehyde, all of which sounded fantastic live. There was also a funny moment where bassist Jack's strap came flying off. The lovely Mark Bell of Umlaut Records and Müg who was in the crowd quickly jumped on stage to assist and ended up holding Jack's bass for him for the majority of the song. Only at a punk show! If you've not seen On A Hiding To Nothing you're really missing out. Go listen to them as soon as you finish reading this and then find out where they're playing next and go see them!

The penultimate band of the evening have just released one of my favourite singles of the year, The Run-Up. The five piece from Bristol recently released the brilliant follow up to 2015's Scared Of Everything - Sink or Swallow/North. The Run-Up actually started their set with Sink or Swallow which really eased me into their set brilliantly. When I reviewed the single I mentioned how the sound reminded of bands like Iron Chic and Red City Radio. Live there was definitely a sense of these bands but The Run-Up's songs are so good it never comes across that they are ripping anybody off. Their sound is melodic with fantastic gruff vocals. I'm constantly amazed by all of the great bands that are in the UK scene. I think The Run-Up are up there with the very best. These guys are going to be massive!

Finally it was time for Forever Unclean. I've been a big fan of Forever Unclean since hearing their debut EP, Shreds, which was awesome but with Float the Danish three piece have really upped their game even more. I was fortunate enough to see them a couple of years ago (which I think was their first UK tour as a band) at Book Yer Ane Fest in Dundee and was blown away by them as a live band. Combining fast skate punk with a bit of a scratchy, indie sound, Forever Unclean had the entire crowd at the Unicorn hooked as they stormed through songs from both EPs. As good as the tracks from Shreds are it was the songs from Float that really got the best reactions from the people watching. It's safe to say that that EP will be on a lot of end of year lists. It was great to see the band having such a fun time on stage as well. It's clear that Forever Unclean are aware of how lucky they are to be able to go and tour another country and to be adored wherever they go. There's a playfulness about them on stage but also a lot of humbleness. Forever Unclean finished off a fantastic night of punk rock!

It felt like ages since I've gone to a small punk rock show so it felt fantastic to be back in the back room of a small pub. All five bands were fantastic and all got great reactions from the crowd. This was our first time at the Unicorn and I was really impressed. The floor space was a decent size, the stage management was superb with all the bands getting their allotted time without the show overrunning - considering there were five bands playing this was some feat and the sound for each band was superb. This was such a great night and one of my favourite gigs of the year so far.

This gig review was written by Colin Clark.

Album Review: Giantnormous by Zapiain (by Omar Ramlugon)

Yorkshire trio Zapiain describe this album on their label’s website with a comparison that neatly encapsulates the three cornerstones of their sound; “[…] fans of such 90s heroes as Jawbreaker, Leatherface or Samiam will once again find themselves in the sweetest of familiar territories.”[1] Without wanting to be unfairly reductive, it’s safe to say that is about as on the nose as I could describe them, but that’s intended as a compliment.

Chris Hall’s rough, low-register bark is mixed quite prominently in the mix, which was a smart move as his gnarled voice actually carries the songs with a bracing grit and fervour halfway between Frankie Stubbs and Blake Schwarzenbach, while the rhythm section of Chris Haigh and James Booth capably tear along, contributing vocal harmonies as and when appropriate. The guitars’ clanking grit is even a little reminiscent of Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, mixing in some saw edged high notes among the growling barre chords to keep things interesting.

Opener ‘My New Home’ sets the bar high, with a slicing hook and satisfyingly meaty palm muted chugging, with Chris Haigh’s weathered roars of “Rock bottom / Every day” cutting through the din. Things don’t really let up from there, with the furious ‘Survivor’ and ‘Antimatter’ giving way to the slower ‘Shotgun’, which features tangibly bitter lyrics. Elsewhere, ‘Zapplecross’ is a bit of a ripper, as is ‘Sulk And Beg’, with its pointed lyric of “You can be the one to prove me right / By proving me wrong”. In spite of its stupid title, ‘Mislaid Eyes’ is another winner with barrelling crunchy riffs and power pop hooks abound, and ‘Sunrise’ ends the album on a sweet, soaring guitar solo to bring things home in riotous fashion.

Not everything works; ‘Without Warning’ loses itself a little and ‘Twin Geeks’ pales a bit in comparison into the strength of the tracks around it. But on the whole this is a solid, enjoyable effort, put together with heart and conviction. What’s not to like?


Stream and download Giantnormous here:

Like Zapiain here:

This review was written by Omar Ramlugon.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Album Review: Crustfall by Days N Daze

Days N Daze are a DIY folk punk band – or thrashgrass band as they’ve sometimes labelled themselves – that originally formed as a duo in Houston, Texas, by Whitney Flynn and Jesse Sendejas, almost ten years ago. They’ve swapped and changed additional musicians over the years and put out more than 10 albums and splits, with the latest album, Crustfall, having been released in March this year.

When I was initially confronted with reviewing Crustfall I was a little apprehensive about reviewing an album with so many songs on it. What if they all sound the same? What if I start to repeat myself? I’m used to albums that have maybe 10–12 tracks, nevermind that I often review EPs as well, and this one has 16. However, upon listening to Crustfall for the first time I realised that this was a 16-track album with lots of variety. There’s something for everyone on this album, well every punk fan anyway. 

The first song of Crustfall is called I Wanna See It Burn and has one of the many guest lyricist/vocalists of the album, Juicy Karkass. The song is very raw, angry and fast. As you’d probably expect from a song about all the negatives in the world. It’s like getting punched in the face… in a good way. To Risk To Live (ft. Freddie Boatright) is a favourite of mine. It’s upbeat and features plenty of mandolin. The song is about avoiding the mentality that you have to life your life a certain way, ie. going to college and working hard to get a job like you dad and wasting your life away. Inspirational. Aspirational. ‘Don’t waste your best years, Just livin’ for somebody else, Don’t waste your best years, Just hidden behind a desk, Don’t waste your best years, They’re the only ones you’ll ever get, So why not play life closer to the chest.’

Note Idol is the third track of Crustfall and it starts with a decent amount of trumpet. It feels perhaps more Spanish flamenco than ska and gives the album a bit of a party vibe. ‘A house is not always a home.’ Saturday Night Palsy sticks with the trumpet, alongside guitar. This song has a super catchy chorus and is fairly melodic for two relatively raw vocalists. Where the past is the past, And what's done is done, And the only concern we have is having fun, Where the cops all turn their heads the other way’. The next track, Self Loathing, has a fairly lengthy musical intro showing some great musicianship. When the vocals do begin, the lines of the song are alternated between Whitney and Jesse. This is pretty self-deprecating song but it remains suitably upbeat. ‘And now I know myself a bit too well, And I’m not sure I like what I’ve become, Self loathing is overwhelming, Every mirror is a loaded gun’

Exhausted Insomniac is a cover of an RCI song – who Google informs me are a indie punk band from Ohio. I wasn’t familiar with the original until I looked it up but upon first listen to the Days N Daze version it did seem a bit different to the previous tracks so it wasn’t not overly surprising that it is a cover. The track somehow doesn’t have the same rawness as other Days N Daze songs but it was great nonetheless. They certainly put their own folk punk spin on it. Insta Mental Breakdown serves as an interlude of sorts. It’s a full length song (2 and a half minutes) but performed in a different style altogether. The lyrics feel like a spoken word recital rather than a typical song and the instruments seem like they’re more for theatrical effect than melody… until the end at least. Interesting.

The eighth track brings a great swinging motion to Crustfall. Devil’s Hour is quite Baltic-sounding song where Whitney takes the lead – previously it had mostly been the duo together so this was quite refreshing. The lyrics are venomous and passionate as ever with macabre images of graveyards and all other kinds of spooky shit being painted in my head. Jesse returns to join Whitney on Wholesale Failure, a furious anthem with more than its fair share of ‘fuck’s. ‘Everything’s so fucked it’s comical, Waking up’s a drag, And the worst parts that I know this isn’t even close, To how devastatingly bad everything is gonna get.’ The song has a really great ska-style breakdown – and I don’t just mean with horns – that I really wasn’t expecting. The tenth track, featuring a pun of the band’s own name in its title, is called Days N Daze Of Our Lives. The song is about someone who you thought was your friend but turns out to not be who you thought they were. It is angry and slightly offensive yet strangely feel-good. ‘You drive me crazy, You drive me to drink, I hope you drive your car off a cliff, You self obsessed asshole.’

Save A Life (ft. Joey Steel) is an anti-cop song – a protest song against all the police officers who have shot innocent people. ‘They don't serve and protect you, they'll kill and neglect you, to them their the boot you're the bug.’ The song has a great trumpet melody and also features a bit of that ska-influenced guitar that I loved in Wholesale Failure. Days N Daze pack so many words into the lyrics of their songs, especially considering most songs are less than 3 minutes long. I think this next song possibly has the highest word count of the album. Little Blue Pills Pt. 4 is a love song of sorts. ‘Love is just a breeze, In the middle of a hurricane, Restitch the timeline and I swear that we’d both go insane, Engaged to death got nothin’ left, But everything will be alright.’  The features yet another new instrument/sound, whistling, as well as a verse where Jess and Whitney sing slightly different lines at the same time. Is there anything they can’t do? World War 3 is the thirteenth track of Crustfall. Well, you can imagine the sort of subject matter of this song – riots around the world, cops killing innocent people, guns in schools. It’s scary but they’re not wrong. ‘The next world war is just around the corner, Blinded by the glitz and glam disease, Sirens wail the anthem of a generation frozen in apathy, You can’t just change the channel with the war at your doorstep.’

Anchor is a quieter track than many of its album mates (yes, I did just refer to a song as a ‘mate’). This is a harmonica and acoustic guitar driven sad song. Yet another different sound – not bad for the fourteenth track on the album. This song starts and ends with the same lines – ‘I got blacked out nights and tragic letters, Empty pockets distorted pleasures, This winters lasted years.’ There a lot of references to the fragility of life and death on Crustfall and that is very much the case for The Abliss. The song is about staying strong and above those negative mental feelings that you might have because there are people that care about you. ‘Life’s a minefield a treacherous road, Call me selfish but I don’t want to travel it alone, So burn the crutches and mend the bones, Cause we’ve still got so many miles to go.’ Finally we come to the album’s title track and album closer. It feels like Days N Daze give every last thing they’ve got with Crustfall – all of the instruments are there and both Whitney and Jesse are screaming their lungs out. Just when you think the song has ended, there is a surprisingly lovely musical breakdown before the final verse is sung more gently than before: ‘Well I know times running out, So before ya lay my body down, Before ya dress me up, Commit me to the ground, I wanna make sure that you know, I love you and thanks for putting up, With all my shit.’

Crustfall is available now from Sweater Weather Records and All We've Got Records and you can stream and download it from the band's Bandcamp, here. Also be sure to like Days N Daze on Facebook, here.

This review was written by Emma Prew.