I first became aware of Laserchrist when CPRW's Robyn got all excited about a South African band living in London. I checked out their recently released new EP, DIY-Bother, and instantly loved it. I was just about to tell Paul from Be Sharp Promotions about this great new band I've been told about only to discover he'd already booked them to play their first show, supporting The Shell Corporation no less. That Paul, he's always got his finger on the pulse. I unfortunately couldn't make the show but from all reports they played a blinder. Mr Alex Wonk of Wonk Unit happened to be in the crowd for the show and enjoyed them so much that he quickly booked them for his own festival, Wonkfest. Now I'm finally getting around to reviewing DIY-Bother to let you know why I think it's such a good EP.
The EP begins with the song Oh Ethyl! In the Laserchrist online bio they say that they are influenced by Leatherface and Iron Chic. This is certainly obvious on this song. Think gruff and melodic sing-along punk rock and you get a feel for the sound of the track. Laserchrist managed to get to the chorus very quickly which is a masterstroke as this gets you invested into the song in no time at all. Throughout the song it seems to build and build, getting more urgent as it goes on, adding loads of energy to the song. What a fantastic start! The fantastic stuff continues on the following track, What's The Use? Here we have more excellent melodic gruff punk with some fantastic hooks. The guitar work on the song is a big highlight. There is a jangly style that runs alongside the melodic vocals. I'm reminded of the much missed Cornish band Bangers on this song, which is a huge compliment. Big Smoke City has a nice long introduction that eases you into the track, the guitar and drums drive the song forward while some playful bass lines inject a bit more fun to the track. Vocally it's a much more subdued style but, like the bass, it goes along with a playful melody that really caught my attention.
The penultimate song, We've Got Hopes, sees Laserchrist explore some of their less punk rock influences such as The Smashing Pumpkins and The Pixies. On this track Laserchrist take on a more technical sound with plenty of fast paced intricate guitars and a pounding drum beat. Vocally it's a lot more distorted than the previous songs but still retains a sing-along quality that I adore. Finally we have the five minute long epic Ravebird Mountain Man (Radio Silence). The song starts out with a mesmerising extended guitar introduction before the vocals come in and the tempo is upped. The song cleverly jumps between both sets of Laserchrist influences. Musically the song is full of amazing guitar solos that just blow your mind but vocally we have that gruff sing-along punk style. I kind of felt like these two different styles wouldn't work but Laserchrist pull it off brilliantly.
So yeah, DIY-Bother is a great first EP from a band who will soon be the next big thing in the London punk rock scene and probably beyond. Remember the name Laserchrist.
Stream and download DIY-Bother here: https://laserchristlondon.bandcamp.com/releases
Like Laserchrist here: https://www.facebook.com/laserchrist/
This review was written by Colin Clark.