Sunday, 30 July 2017

Album Review: Why We Fight by 24 Hour Punks


Recently a group of musicians from the UK punk rock scene came together to form 24 Hour Punks. The concept of this group was to write, rehearse and record an EP in 24 hours with the proceeds going towards the cancer charity AMMF. The band members are TJ McFaull (Bar Stool Preachers) and Millie Manders (Millie Manders and The Shut Up) on vocals, Luke Lyon-Wall (Call Me Malcolm) the 24 Hour Punks leader on guitar, Aiden Lamb (Skaciety) also on guitar, Arvin Bancil (Popes Of Chillitown) on bass and Pierre Greenway (Battleska Galatica) on the drums. With that incredible collection of talent coming together for such a worthwhile cause this EP, titled Why We Fight, was bound to be special.


First up on the EP is its title track, Why We Fight. I was a little surprised when the track started as all the members of the band usually play in ska bands but this is full on punk rock, with the guitars in particular really reminding me of Pennywise (which in my opinion are some of the best guitars in the business). TJ and Millie share vocal duties on the track, taking turns on the verses and combining beautifully for the simple and empowering chorus of "This Is Why We Fight!" The track really sums up what 24 Hour Punks is all about, fighting for the cause, in this particularly instance fighting to support AMMF to help cancer sufferers get the help and support they need. Punk rock has always been about inspiring people to go out and make a difference. This opening track certainly does that. The second song Stand really shows off the excellent level of musicianship that the band possesses. Stand is a song about being there for someone who is in need. TJ and Millie's vocals are absolutely amazing on this song. They travel from restrained to melodic to punchy to urgent and seemingly everywhere inbetween. The real 'gosh darn this is incredible' moment comes during Stand's final third with some of the very best harmonies I've heard in quite some time. I'm a real lover of harmonies and these are just layered to complete perfection. The third and final track on Why We Fight is named Riot. Of the three songs on the EP, this is the most political. It's about being angry with the way the country is being run and fighting against it to try and make a change. This is another very empowering song that really makes you want to stand up and do your bit. The guitar part that begins the song lets you know that something big is about to go down. It's one of those riffs that makes you think "he's angry." Like all good political songs there are ample opportunities to unite a crowd and get them singing along. Riot has an excellent breakdown where you just get a drum beat and TJ and Millie shout "1, 2, 3, 4 Count Us In The Riot" before the song explodes back into life and finishes with a big finale.

Why We Fight by 24 Hour Punks is a phenomenal release. When you consider that this was all done by a group of people in 24 hours who aren't even in bands together, it's just staggering that something of this quality has come out of it. Of course, there are cynics who might say "of course you're going to say this is good, it's for charity." And they're right, I probably would say it's good because it's for charity. It would be a really dick move of me to say negative things about something for charity. However, I do genuinely believe this is one of the best releases I've heard all year. I beg you to go and check it out purely because it's amazing (but also buy it because it is for a important cause). I can only imagine the quality of music that could be made by 24 Hour Punks if they had more time to put together some music. I really hope this collection of people do come together again to make some more music.

Stream and download Why We Fight here: https://24hourpunks.bandcamp.com/releases

Information on the 24 Hour Punks charity gig is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/

This review was written by Colin Clark.