Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Album Review: Formaldehyde by On A Hiding To Nothing (by Dan Peters)

I have a lot of experience with seeing and listening to On A Hiding To Nothing. Not only did their drummer once drum in my band too but they also happen to be excellent dudes whose company I greatly enjoy. 2015 saw the release of their first self-titled EP, a staggeringly good romp which I own on vinyl and now, after a couple of line-up changes, they’re back with Formaldehyde – brought to us courtesy of skate punk label Umlaut Records.

If you’re an old fan of OAHTN then you may have listened to their original couple of bedroom demos they had on Bandcamp. One of them, ‘Braindead’, appeared on their original EP and they continue the tradition straight off the bat with Swagger. For those of you who haven’t heard it before, it’s a lightspeed belter about what I’d refer to as ‘townies’ but I hear the kids these days call them chavs. Afterwards I move into unfamiliar territory with ‘Call Me Flyboy’. The pace slows down but I’m always happy to listen to songs about zombies and this is full of references and just happens to be a great tune to boot. I’m enjoying this slightly heavier melody and the harmonies here are just so on point. I’m a sucker for a great vocal harmony and OAHTN never fail to get the hairs on my arms to raise.

Things speed up again for Stuck Record. Lead singer Al always had a vocal style that reminded me of Frenzel Rhomb frontman Jay Whalley and this is maybe their most Rhombish tune to date. Lastly and personally best on the list is ‘London Road, Mate’, back up to blisteringly fast, politically charged and where OAHTN shine brightest. With both the UK and US political landscape being the way it’s been over the last year this song hits a nerve for all of us dubbed remoaner. The frantic pace of the guitars and drums along with the scorn dripping off every lyric sets my punk meter to maximum.

I never like to make assumptions but I already knew Formaldehyde would be great and several listens in my appreciation has only grown. On A Hiding To Nothing are certainly a top tier UK punk act and it’s pleasing to my ears to be able to expand their discography between seeing them play live.

Stream and download Formaldehyde here: https://onahidingtonothing.bandcamp.com/album/formaldehyde

Like On A Hiding To Nothing here: https://www.facebook.com/onahidingtonothing/

This review was written by Dan Peters.