For some reason, were we expecting swampy goth rock from this but it’s mostly punk, in some parts the rapid snare/kick drum punk of bands like NOFX (though there is no band like NOFX, of course), as well as that shouted call/more melodic response thing that punks do.
Elsewhere it’s somewhere between AFI/Alkaline Trio/Blink 182, and in other places harder rock. Only Down Below offers the more gothy rock we were expecting, but this is followed by the NOFX-ish Room 309.
It opens with Black Rain, a gentle spoken word section preceding a punkier AFI-style song (it’s all very AFI; we played some of the latter, and then couldn’t remember which band was playing). Poison Pens is proper NOFX punk, though more melodic, and Suzanne tighter but more mainstream rock. That sums it up.
It closes gently with the acoustic Crickets.
The sound is polished and mature, rather a remarkable level of proficiency for a debut, and they manage to pull off both straight punk and more melodic goth; the end of Suzanne is particularly good.
Some vocals come from keyboardist Hannah Greenwood, who’s not unlike Cerys Matthews; lead vocalist Will Gould has an unexpectedly good voice.
It’s a strong album; we like it and can see why they’re being hailed exciting. If we’ve heard it all before and think it’s exciting, some young music fans are going to have their minds blown.