Monday, 18 January 2016

Album Review: Pardon Us/Only Strangers Split

In November of last year, Pardon Us and Only Strangers released a new six-song split featuring three songs from each band.

The first three songs are from Liverpudlian three-piece Pardon Us, who feature former members of Flamingo 50, Down & Outs (who are reuniting to play Manchester Punk Festival) and Town Bike. Their first song is titled Warfarin Blues. Playing some indie pop punk that is becoming more and more popular there is a beautiful and simple charm to the song. This type of music always put a smile on my face; it's super accessible and easy to listen to whilst retaining a great punk attitude. The next song, Only Pain, is played at a faster tempo than Warfarin Blues and definitely has more of a punk rock feel to it. There is a great maturity to the song that will attract older listeners but it’s filled with enough hooks to grab everyones attention. The drums are played at a great pace throughout and create a wonderful backbone to the track and the use of dual vocals really gives the song a lot of life. The final Pardon Us Song is titled Stinking Rich. This song is about stepping over people to make more money - I don't like these kind of people and I imagine most of you don’t either. The chorus in particular really stands out, completely changing the melody of the song to a shout-it-out gang vocal style. One line that particularly stood out to me was "Your Name Is Richard, But I Will Call You Dick".

Only Strangers are a four piece melodic punk band from Stoke-on-Trent who are influenced by bands such as The Lawrence Arms, Alkaline Trio and Hot Water Music. The first song from the Only Strangers side of the split is called La Liga. The Hot Water Music influence is completely evident in this track as it feaures dual, gravelling vocals and the darker toned duelling guitar that the Gainesville legends are known for. The next song, Enemy, has more of a catchy pop punk sound to it, it’s full of hooks and catchy lyrics. Just past the middle of the track there is an excellent interlude where the band show off all kinds of musical ability including one hell of a guitar solo before finishing with one final sing-along. The final Only Strangers song and the final song on the split is called Failed To Notice and sees the boys take us on a rollercoaster of highs and lows with a series of tempo, key and melody changes. This is my favourite song on the entire release (and they're all very good). I love the rollercoaster the band manage to take you on and it's a song that I can imagine being so much fun live.

Only Strangers and Pardon Us are two bands who, whilst not being overly similar in sound, do have at least one thing in common - they write absolutely brilliant punk rock songs. Definitely two bands I will be looking out for much more of in 2016.

Sream and buy the split here:

Like Pardon us here:

Like Only Strangers here:

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