Saturday, 20 September 2014

Album Review: Black Everything by Apologies, I Have None

Apologies, I Have None’s debut full length London is one of my favourite albums of the last few years, if not ever. It’s an album full of intelligently written songs that make you think and will have you singing along at the very top of your voice. What I really loved about it was that this was a punk rock record that was accessible to everyone. The hardest of punks and someone the complete opposite of that could enjoy it. I believe the technical term for this is that it has crossover appeal. As you could imagine I was extremely excited when the band announced that they were releasing a new EP. Then I saw some bad news from the band, co-singer, lyricist and guitar player Dan Bond was leaving the band. What would this mean for the band? Would it affect the sound? The departure of one of the key members of the band surely would be a huge loss. The first time I listened to the new EP Black Everything there was a huge amount of trepidation on my part. In all honesty on the first listen of the EP I felt quite disappointed by it. This wasn’t the release that was going to catapult them out of the underground and into the mainstream. This was a dark and brooding effort very unlike the album I loved. With that I didn’t really listen to it again until one of the songs from Black Everything – Raging Through The Thick And Heavy Darkness Of A Bloodlust appeared on a few compilations that I had gathered throughout the summer and it began to grow on me. I decided to give the EP another go; this is what I thought of it.

Raging Through The Thick And Heavy Darkness Of A Bloodlust is the opening track on Black Everything. The feeling of darkness is apparent straight away with a slow, deliberate drum beat before drawn out guitar wails kick in. Josh McKenzie (who is now the sole lead singer of the band) vocals start of restrained before slowly building into an angst filled scream that carry the song along. Raging is about struggling with anger issues and how such anger can turn you into a whole different person. The song if full of some great lyrics including “if I offered explanations they would barely break the silence and would leave behind no reasons as to why I am unfound, a lost plot, raging through the thick and heavy darkness of a bloodlust.”

Two Bombs In a Box is my favourite song on Black Everything. It’s a slow tempo track that kicks off straight away with a very catchy chorus of “how the fuck did I not see this coming? I should have known.” I imagine that played live this gets a great crowd reaction. There is also a line taken from The Righteous Brothers You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling at the end of the song – “I’ve lost that loving feeling, not it’s gone, gone, gone.” I did smile when I first realised that was included.

Coffee, Alcohol, Codeine, Repeat finds McKenzie in a really bad mood. The opening guitar riffs sound like a darker version of the intro to 60 Miles, the opening track from London. I found the lyrics “she would always be the answer, always be the cure and I thought if I ever got my shit together I could try to be hers” to be very relatable. Sounds like how my mindset has been for the majority of this year. The song is about trying to sort yourself out for someone else before realising that that isn’t a healthy way to live, you should try and make yourself better for you and you alone. A surprisingly positive message in such a dark sounding song.

Black Everything is completed with the fourth song The Clarity Of Morning. This is a slow building song that showcases McKenzie’s voice at its angst filled best here. The Clarity Of Morning is about knowing that you are making a bad decision one night and hoping it will sort itself out the next day.

After giving Black Everything another go I can tell you it’s definitely a grower. Every time I’ve listened to it I’ve found something new that I love. Losing Dan was a big loss to the band but in Josh McKenzie the band still has an amazingly talented songwriter to carry on the band and to remain one of the best bands in the UK underground and the one of the best bands the folks “above ground” need to hear. 

Buy and stream Black Everything here:

Now listening to 100 Club by Apologies, I Have None

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