Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Album Review: Dinner By Gaslight by Missing The Scene (by Dan#2)

Forged out of the flames of the Reading punk rock scene, the phoenix that is "Missing The Scene" have come back to relish in nostalgia while breathing life back into the place they came from. Being from the area myself and having seen Fishhook (one of Jim and Rachael's old bands) a few times, I jumped at the chance to review the first release of their new project: a concept EP about the lasting impacts of toxic relationships and domestic violence, which is a really good concept and definitely is something that should be talked about more.

The EP opens with "Dinner By Gaslight" which starts with a really nice full sound, the choice of chords make it sound like a old friend easing you into the song. When Rachael's vocals come in, it sounds like the icing on the cake of their sound. Everything gels together really well and reminds me of a Banner Pilot song: nothing feels out of place and everything feels strangely familiar as it reels you in. Lyrically, "Dinner By Gaslight" talks about how gaslighting is used in the described relationship to abuse their partner. "And you would take me out but only on your own terms" hints towards the separation this caused, the lyrics are really well formed around the title. I also love the clean longer outro giving the track a haunting finish.

"Ten Years" is my favourite track on the EP; the guitar lead is really catchy from the get-go with everything backing it up. The chorus reflects on the long-term nature of the damage done to mental health by abuse: "Wasted ten years of my life, even though I only knew you two" is a really impactful line, backed up by the instrumentation stripping back for a few seconds behind it. Despite the heaviness of the lyrics, this is a lovely singalong addition to any set.

The final song is "Me And The Girl", which swaps some major chords for minor ones. This one sounds different while retaining the feel of the others. I really feel for the line "I wear my scars on the outside, makes it easier than in, some people say it's for attention". It's a horrible world we live in when something like that can be relatable, but it's an unfortunate truth that a lot of the stigma around this subject is caused by people belittling others' struggles. The guitar solo in this song fits really perfectly, too – not a note out of place, plus the double time feels like an empowerment of the message.

This EP is a lovely little slice of pop punk, nicely produced and great on the ears. It's a really high-quality start for a new band establishing a catchy sound with memorable melodies and familiar sounding chords that make the whole sound feel warm and inviting. I can't wait until they make more!

I recommend picking this up from Missing The Scene Bandcamp here. All proceeds raised are going to Berkshire Women’s Aid, a local charity that provides advice, support and refuge services to victims of domestic abuse.

Like Missing The Scene on Facebook here.

This review was written by Dan#2.

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