Dead Inside EP

Written by: MAK on 09/12/2020 02:22:13

Polish skate punks CF98 have been making waves across Europe, playing popular punk festivals such as SBAM, Mighty Sounds and Punk Rock Holiday. 2020 Would have seen them spread their sound over to the British Isle for Manchester Punk Festival and following a successful, yet brief UK tour at the end of 2019, it felt like a massive shame that COVID-19 and all the festival cancellations hit just as CF98 was really gaining traction. During the lockdowns, the Krakow four-piece released their EP “Dead Inside” as a follow up to 2019s “Rotten to the Core”.

CF98 produce a brand of melodic skate punk that is laden with big crunchy chords balanced out by massive catchy hooks, all delivered with a relentless energy that can be compared to Tsunami Bomb. The EP opens with the title track “Dead Inside”, one of the band’s more poppier anthems, which lets frontwoman Karolina’s powerful singing voice stand out in a beautiful tuneful manner, yet she counteracts it with some angsty moments. Behind her, the band unleash a mixture of energetic beats and bouncy hooks to get you jumping. “WOAH OH-OH-OH” singalong segments feature in this and follow up track “Shine On”, a 58-second long song that crescendos from a softer start to an onslaught of erratic beats and punchy riffs. Yet again Karolina’s captivating high-pitched singing dominates over the instruments behind her and this doesn’t change for “Pink” as she sings “Pink is for the girls, punk is for the boys” through gritted teeth” for a track that is about the stereotypes of what it is like to be a girl in a punk band. The track itself blends angst-ridden fast punk energy with the band’s more melodic flavour perfectly for an absolute anthem of a track. The punchy-meets catchy vibes work so well.

“Oh Boy” is by far the chirpiest track on the release, as a throwback to mid-00s pop-punk. Catchy uplifting choruses that CF98 do well in building up to with Karolina’s singing even more melodic than I thought possible. The musicianship switches from the usually breakneck shredding hooks and pounding beats to something a bit more buoyant, with rhythms and guitar licks that remind me of Blink 182 during their “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” era. “Gasoline” literally puts the gas on, ups the tempo and fires us more towards a Tsunami Bomb meets Rise Against inspired angsty skate punk tone. There is some real emotion in the delivery of Karolina’s singing for probably the darkest sounding track on the EP. “Never Quit” acts as a motivational track as CF98 tackles the topic of mental health and keep fighting on during the toughest moments, with powerfully inspiring lyrics “You’ll never lose if you never quit”. Once again the words are shared in such a melodic and catchy manner you can’t help but sing along.

The big downside is that this EP is over way too quickly. Less than fifteen minutes long, this EP just blasts by in a way you can’t truly get your CF98 fix. The good thing is that it’s an EP you’ll want to repeat. We are treated to a release that is crammed full with some wonderfully delightful catchy singing and incredibly tight musicianship. Compared to “Rotten to the Core”, this follow up is crisper, it’s cleaner and more melodic as a whole, leaning less towards the thick riffs and more towards the bigger choruses. However, this is only a natural progression and “Dead Inside” makes it easy to see why such a band is on the rise across the continent, and I get a feeling that this EP should be able to cement them as regulars across the aforementioned punk fests for years to come.


Download: Pink, Gasoline, Never Quit
For The Fans Of: Tsunami Bomb, Fastfade, The Decline
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.05.2020
Sound Speed Records

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