Just a Random Project?
Have you ever had someone come up to you and tell you they’ve mixed two of your favourite things and all of a sudden you’re ever so slightly nervous? You think well this could be the next peanut butter and nutella but it could also turn out to be the next Batman v Superman! So it is that I press play on the brand new shiny Traits EP, Limits. A supergroup formed by members of not one but two of my bestest UK bands, Random Hand and The Human Project. Will this just sound like one or the other and will each side compliment the other? Let’s find out…
Well for starters take what you know about each of the satellite bands surrounding Traits and just throw it all in the bin. I’m surprised from start to finish at how much Traits are their own beast, not sailing on the strengths of their formers and instead looking to carve a path of their own. This isn’t Ska-core and this isn’t Melodic Hardcore. In the place of what I assumed was going to be the foundations of their sound is good times late 90s style pop punk. Traits aren’t a group that are taking themselves too seriously but are a band with a great sound and I had a hell of a lot of fun listening to them.
This departure from what I’m expecting initially comes as a bit of a shock as I listen to the title track of the EP Limits and I find myself having to go back and repeat because I was waiting for the double time to come in the first listen through. So second time round I settle into the groove and appreciate the almost new wave feel of the riffage on display (the track reminds me of Ever Fallen In Love by the Buzzcocks) and get to grips with Human Project vocalist Jonny Smith not singing about class war and politics and instead getting a little irreverent.
Things do get up to double time in the second track, Nobody Likes A Narcissist, which is the skatepunkiest track of the bunch. I love fast songs, of course, and this scratches my itch nicely without the need to get too technical or obtuse. We’re All A Dick Sometimes could have come straight off of a P-Rock video from the early 2000s and I love it for that. Fed To Me, whilst maybe being the “heavy track” of the album, is still a real teen angst pop punk anthem and sounds like a great radio friendly standout tune. Rounding things up is The Little Things, again keeping that upbeat old school vibe going.
This EP is a nostalgia hit for those of us who grew up in the 2000 era pop punk bubble. Not in any way a rip off or just a tribute but rather a development of a slightly lost genre that would fit in well back then and is a pleasure to listen to right now.
Stream and download Limits here: https://traitsband.bandcamp.com/releases
Like Traits here: https://www.facebook.com/traitsband/
This review was written by Dan Peters.