They say that you should never judge a book by its cover. This is something I always try to abide by but sometimes you just have to. Recently, on holiday, Emma and I were relaxing and I was doing something I often do when I'm not doing much, searching through the discover section on Bandcamp. Flicking through I noticed an album cover with a picture of a bear waving. I had to check this out. I clicked play and thought this was pretty cool so then I checked out who I was listening to. Turns out it was a French band by the name of Quitters and the album was called Good Night Memories.
The album starts with an instrumental track named Sweet Memories. It serves as a fantastic introduction to what you can expect from Quitters musically - methodical guitar playing layered with intricate jangly riffs and some lovely pounding drums. The second track Why Should We Burn Our Lives? gets the album going properly. As soon as some gang vocals come in to start the song I know that I'm to absolutely adore this song. The words "We Raise Our Voice For The Better, We Sing Out Loud Through The Fire" get a track about fighting for something you believe in off to a great start and instantly hooks you in. There is a hint of Iron Chic in the music and a huge nod to Red City Radio in the lead singer's vocal. These two bands are in the upper echelons of gruff punk rock so this is no great surprise that there are some similarities here. This is one of my favourite songs of the year. Promises To Myself begins with a reasonably long intro with a great drum roll. The music builds and builds and when things get going you're more than ready to sing along with the band. The track is about trying to better yourself and looking back at the mistakes you've made along the way. The drumming throughout the song is superb and really drives the song forward at a decent pace. The fourth song The Brighter Shades Of Time starts off in a similar way to Why Should We Burn Our Lives? with some excellent gang vocals. The song is about looking back at a time in your life where you felt that things were better. At five minutes long this is a pretty lengthy song for a punk track, that's because the last two minutes are a musical outro. I spent the two minutes waiting for one final explosive chorus but this doesn't happen. It's a great piece of musicianship though and something quite unique. Life Inside takes us to the halfway point on Good Night Memories. This is one of the hardest hitting tracks on the album with the lead vocals being backed by some almost screamo-like harmonies. This adds an intensity to the album that we haven't yet heard. The song itself tackles the topic of finding the beauty in even the worst of places. I really like the verse "We Still Dream At Night, Still Learn From Our Mistakes, No Matter The Daylight, We'll See The World With Children Eyes."
The second half of the album starts in the same way that the first did, with an instrumental track named Harsh Memories. This is followed up by Misery. Straight away you notice a change in the tone of Quitters' music. On Misery the intensity of everything is cranked up to another level, with the drums in particular laying a foundations for a crunching hardcore track. The song is about getting fed up with people who try and bring you down and calling them out for their actions. The final couple of lines really drive home this though - "You're Just A Waste Of Time, You Weren't Worth My Life, I'll Take Back What's Mine." The eighth song on Good Night Memories is named Cold Winter. After some high-tempo guitars get the show on the road, things are slowed slightly for the first verse. This really allows the listener to immediately feel involved in the song and not get too swept away with everything that's going on. Of course things pick back up for the chorus with more of Quitters' fantastic gang vocals. This technique of changing up the tempo for the verses and chorus adds some great depth to the song and keeps you interested throughout. I like it. The guitar riff at the beginning of the penultimate song, Burn Burn, reminds me of a warning alarm going off to let you know something big is about to happen. Big is certainly the word to use. As soon as the vocals hit I'm thinking of Hot Water Music. There's an added gruff rumble to proceedings that we've not heard from Quitters so far on Good Night Memories and it just adds another fantastic element to their sound. Burn Burn is about hating the person you've become. This is without a doubt one of the hardest hitting songs on the album and will be the track that provokes the biggest mosh pits when played live. Good Night Memories finishes with the song Bad Times And Good Fights. This song reverts back to what I would call the trademark Quitters sound with its jangly guitars and instantly singable lyrics. As every last song on an album should do there is a feeling of epicness in the song, beginning with a building intro that launches the song into a fun but emotional track. It's about things not lasting forever and you can always move on from things that haven't gone so well. The harmonies in the song really make me think back to the 90s skate punk sound. This is a fantastic throwback to finish a really good album.
Good Night Memories is proof that sometimes it's okay to judge a book by its cover. Or in this case an album by its artwork. This is an astonishing album full of smart, relatable and catchy punk rock tunes. Quitters are a band that I cannot wait to hear more from in the future and I'm really hoping they find their way to London sooner rather than later so I can sing along with all of these songs!
Stream and download Good Night Memories here: https://quittersmusic.bandcamp.com/
Like Quitters here: https://www.facebook.com/quittersmusic/
This review was written by Colin Clark.