Each issue we recommend three new local releases for you to wrap your ears around. Here’s our top picks for August! Surf Green, Gnarkats and The Coronations all feature in this month’s edition.
Surf Green – ‘Real Friends’ (EP)
Over the course of the past year, the boys from Surf Green supplied local music followers with 2 singles in ‘Sweet Nothings’ and ‘Part Two’ that has has been well documented by us in Treason to have raised their profile within the scene to the next level. Great production and vast improvements in the vocals led to a young audience being engaged to their music, ‘Craving More’. September ‘Realal Friends’ EP is sure to quench their thirst. As I said on an earlier review of ‘Part Two’, experimentation and innovation on structure and thematic material was central to the style the young punks were trying to achieve. Although I also feel that this EP has provided Surf Green with the chance to find out exactly what that style is. While we hear that haphazard rollercoaster style on ‘Part Two’ and ‘Depresso Espresso’, songs like ‘Can’t Stand’ and ‘Said and Done’ represent a return to more traditional punk/pop-punk inspirations with some swinging garage punk riffs thrown in here and there. Overall ‘Real Friends’ feels like a promising band mastering their craft and finding their own sound. It will give those who have been enjoying their recent singles a lot of meat to chew on and I think that’s exactly what they’ll want.
The Coronations – The Song Plays On (EP)
Another band that has recently recorded their second EP is Belfast Rockers ‘The Coronations’. The Song Plays On serves as a flashback to late 90’s Rock with that is as equal parts Oasis as it is Radiohead and as confusing as that sounds, it’s surprisingly silky and easy to listen to. The first two tracks come in the form of slow ballads that wouldn’t sound out of place in an old school Hugh Grant rom-com film (and I mean that as a compliment), while the last song ‘Dancing With The Devil’ picks up the tempo with wah’ed lead guitar playing the main chord progressions in funk rhythms to break up the verses and guitar solos. At the end of the third track, I was surprised to find myself at the end of the EP with almost 17 minutes gone. The tunes didn’t feelthat long but I have to admit that certain ideas felt overstated at times and that is biggest criticism I can give The Song Plays On. I certainly look forward to hearing more from The Coronations and I recommend that anyone looking something to stick on in the car during a short drive should give this a spin.
Gnarkats – Something To Say (Single)
This is Gnarkats’ first release of 2017 and it is a solid one from one of Belfast’s emerging artists. The octave pedal in the verse riffs is fairly memorable and gives the band that playful grunge-pop style that seems patent their sound. The drums don’t take a breathe of air from their entry until the 2 minute mark, their energy gives the track a sense of forward momentum and later on in the track an ascending rhythm to build up to the last ring of the anthemic chorus. Something to Say is, in my opinion, the best song they have released to date and is well worth the listen.