Despite Everything

The Dawn Chorus

Written by: PP on 17/09/2014 23:51:08

With the economic and political climate of Greece being what it is, you'd expect the country to have a burgeoning punk rock scene. Despite Everything, who originate from Athens, make a case for just that on their new album "The Dawn Chorus", which sounds like the band have been paying close attention to what's happening at FEST and like-minded punk rock gatherings around the world. Their soundscape is basically a halfway home between the screamed out loud, rough-around-the-edges style of Red City Radio and the more complex and depth-laden approach taken by Hot Water Music among others. Hints of Good Riddance can be found in the mix as well upon closer inspection.

Basically, you can expect basement style punk rock with coarse vocals where multiple vocalists each take alternating turns, sometimes juxtaposing each other for shouts and screamed melodies that vary from the solid to decent to average. "Roads Unfold" is one of the highlights on the album with its roared, catchy chorus in the vein of the RCR debut album, whereas "Throwing Stones Ain't No Rocket Science" channels the more complicated instrumental landscape of HWM instead. Occasionally, the band are very heavy, elsewhere they are very melodic and sing-alongable, so there's plenty of variety to be found within the record. Tremolo-based guitars also make an appearance, as do standard power chords and three chord melodies to complete a diverse punk rock package overall.

The only problem is that despite having spent loads of time listening to the record, and specifically because of how closely it follows the basement anthem, let's scream along style of RCR's debut album, it's not catchy enough to leave a lasting impression in comparison. The songs are passionately shouted with gravelly vocals, for sure, and there are lots of well-written guitar melodies scattered across the record, but it feels somewhat inconsistent overall. For every good track there are a few anonymous cuts in between that refuse to stay in your mind past current listening session. These are usually the songs that borrow more from the HWM style coarse but depth-laden punk rock instead, and the ones that rely on guitars far too heavy for this purpose. The others, well, they are the ones you'll be singing along at basement shows. It's not bad, but falls slightly behind the best bands in the genre.

Download: Roads Unfold, Throwing Stones Ain't No Rocket Science, Ink Scattered
For the fans of: Red City Radio, Hot Water Music, The Marine Electric
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.05.2014
NoReason Records

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