Fifteen Years are a melodic punk band from Bristol. The four piece, who are inspired by legendary labels Fat Wreck and Epitaph, formed in 2016 and in January of 2017 released their debut EP, Welcome To Hell.
Welcome To Hell starts with the most cheerful sounding of songs - Come On And Die. Starting out with a rumbling bassline before lead singer Dewey's distinctive vocals get the song really moving. They have that fantastic snotty sound that not many singers do anymore so it's feels fantastic to hear. This is followed up by Sail Away. The song starts with some first class drumming and some big guitar chords before Dewey's vocals add the melody to the song. There is an urgency in the verses that reminds me of The Ramones - always the best thing. Sail Away is a song that talks about wanting to get away and fighting the urge to go home again. It sounds like Dewey has an angel and devil on each shoulder, one telling him to get away and the other telling him to go home. Just reading the name of the track Suburban Wasteland makes me thing of 90s west coast punk rock. It's another song about wanting to get away from the place you're in. The use of different tempos in the song keeps you hooked on the verses until the massive and simple chorus of "I've Been Living In A Suburban Wasteland" comes in. So simple, catchy and brilliant. The crowd will be singing that loud and proud!
The fourth track, Mary, starts out in a bit of a plodding fashion before really springing into life. There are some wonderfully complex guitars parts mixed in with an ever changing tempo. This gives the song a really fresh sound that not many bands have. Lyrically there are plenty of sections that will allow a Fifteen Years crowd to sing along with the band, potentially making this a fan favourite. The penultiamte track on Welcome To Hell is named Rise and Fall. Listening to the music in the opening verse I loved how the guitar, bass and drums all do their own things but work perfectly together as one. Bassist Matt particularly stands out, he's one seriously skilled dude. The final track on Welcome To Hell is named Reason To Believe. I absolutely adored the simplicity of the song. It's basically a two minute long chorus but has such a powerful message. The lines "Find Reasons To Believe, Find Something Bigger Than Me, Find Solace In What You Do, Have Heart And Keep It True" are words that everybody in the whole wide world should live by!
Welcome To Hell as an EP is a bit of a throwback record, whilst somehow having a fresh sound to a lot of what is being put out at the moment. How these four Bristolians have managed this is beyond me. I don't really care, I just hope that they keep going and make more fantastic music like this.
Stream and download Welcome To Hell here: https://fifteenyearsbristol.bandcamp.com/album/welcome-to-hell
Like Fifteen Years here: https://www.facebook.com/fifteenyearsbristol/
This review was written by Colin Clark.