I always think splits are such a great way to discover new bands. Back in October last year Dutch skate punk bands Hoist The Colours and RunningLate released a six song split via Melodic Punk Style Records and Morning Wood Records. I love to discover new bands so I dove straight into this review.
The first half of the split belongs to Hoist The Colours. This four piece from Groningen have a shared love of 90s punk rock and aim to keep that spirit alive. The first of their three tracks is named 35 Ta Life. The song starts the split off fantastically with a long building introduction that leads into a track about reaching the midway point of your life and all the problems that come along with that. This is something a lot of us can relate to now as we're approaching midlife and our responsibilities change whether we want them to or not. I particularly enjoyed the use of dual vocalists on the song, this injects some fantastic energy into the song. The opening guitars of the second song 7602 remind me of Teenage Bottlerocket and give the song more of a poppier sound than on 35 Ta Life. 7602 is a song about being happy about where you are in your life and fighting the inevitable - growing up. This is another really relatable song for anyone who has Peter Pan syndrome and just doesn't want to grow up (e.g. me!). The final song on the Hoist The Colours is titled Red Room. This song has some tremendous pounding drums that power the song forward and is brilliantly accompanied by some lovely melodic vocals. Red Room also features an excellent breakdown that allows for a huge finale to finish the track.
RunningLate are a five piece from Zwolle who are influenced by the harder sounding 90s skate punk bands such as Pennywise, Much The Same and Rise Against. They start their half of the split off with a song titled Sink. The pace and ferocity is definitely increased on the RunningLate side of the split. It's cool to hear two bands that are influenced by the same era of punk rock having two fairly different takes on the sound. Sink has a no note wasted approach with RunningLate squeezing as much as they possibly can in to its one minute and forty-eight second duration. Sink is about feeling like you're losing your way and fighting to turn things around. Up next is Trojan Horse. The song begins with a short little bass intro before some great guitars, that would not sound out of place on a Lagwagon record, come in. Trojan Horse is a hard hitting political song about not believing everything that you hear in the media and going out and seeking the truth yourself. Musically Trojan Horse is quite interesting, it's kind of like three songs squashed into one with a pause that makes you think the song is finished and a big melodic switch for the songs ending. This kept me listening intently the whole way through the track. The final song on the split is named Drifting Away. The song wastes no time in getting things started with no intro whatsoever. This is a great way to start a song if you want it to hit the listener immediately. Drifting Away is a track about the frustration of being surrounded by ignorant people who refuse to listen to both sides of an argument and feel like they are being pushed away.
This split showcases two fantastic Dutch bands. It hass done its job in not only thoroughly entertaining me but making me want to check out both bands more. I shall keeping an eye on both Hoist The Colours and RunningLate in the future as I expect them to become household names in the European punk rock scene.
Stream and download the split here: https://runninglatepunkrock.bandcamp.com/album/hoist-the-colours-runninglate-split-ep
Like Hoist The Colours here: https://www.facebook.com/HTCPunkrock/
Like RunningLate here: https://www.facebook.com/runninglatepunkrock/
This review was written by Colin Clark.