The Overbites are a new band from the amazing Scottish punk rock scene featuring former members of Maxwell's Dead and Salem Street/The Valens. In February the four piece, featuring MuzzEh (vocals/guitar), Matt (bass/vocals), Sam (guitar) and Jim (drums/vocals), released their debut six track EP, Mince. As a fan of these guys’ previous projects I was interested to hear Mince.
Mince begins with I Could Never Stop. It's a short and fast song that gets the EP off with a real bang. It's about being in bands from a young age, realising that it can be destructive to your life but knowing it's so ingrained in you that you'll never be able to stop doing it. I think it serves as a great introduction as to why The Overbites exist and is a great pick for an opening number. The next track, TV, is another short song that packs quite the punch. It's about deciding not to watch the TV as there is nothing good on it but it being there waiting to be watched again. The song gives me the image of a television being a devil sitting on your shoulder, you know it's probably not going to be good but sometimes you just can't help yourself anyway. I found the lyrics to be extremely relatable, particularly this line – "I don't know what a Kardashian is, and I really don't care."
Up next is the song Mince. This track starts out slowly with a plodding opening verse that soon builds towards a heavier punk rock chorus. The structure is repeated for a second verse and chorus before we are treated to a energetic instrumental section and then repeating for a third time. This switches in style allow for the chorus to seem all the more powerful. This is good because Mince is about struggling with mental health problems and wanting to escape from them. Misled sees the EP take a surprising turn as The Overbites play a gypsy punk song. I really wasn't expecting to hear a gypsy punk track on the EP but The Overbites do a fantastic job with this. It shows off their ability as musicians brilliantly and quickly pulls you in. The song is about exactly what you think it is – being lied to and not being able to deal with it.
Time Was Up is the penultimate track on Mince. Here we get to hear a ska punk influence to The Overbites sound, with some bouncy verses that hook you immediately and will soon have you tapping your feet if not completely skanking. When the chorus hits we get some glorious gang vocals that give you that sense of inclusion that I love. The song is about the ending of previous bands, thinking about the journey you've been on and realising it's time to call it a day. A lot of new bands don't like to talk about their previous work on new projects but I really appreciated that The Overbites wrote a song like this. The Scottish scene is pretty small so everyone knows the history of these guys anyway so you might as well address it in a song, right? Separation finishes the EP in fine form. It's a straight forward punk sing-along about trying to get on with your life after breaking up with your partner. The melody of the song really hooks you in and I love the way MuzzEh finishes each line in such a punchy way. This is the real earworm track of the EP and it was a great choice to finish with it as it leaves you wanting more whilst humming away to yourself.
I loved Mince, I can't wait to see where it takes The Overbites. Varied, smart, fresh and fun. What else could you need?
Stream and download Mince here: https://theoverbites.bandcamp.com/
Like The Overbites here: https://www.facebook.com/theoverbitesband/
This review was written by Colin Clark.