What are your top five bands from Slovenia? Struggling? Well here’s one to get you started: Real Life Version.
They’ve been around for a while actually; forming in 2005, they’ve toured Europe extensively and already have an album under their belt. This might not be ringing any bells with you – but rather than question your (faltering) punk credentials any further, let’s discuss their sophomore effort The Sound of Progress.
RLV have been working really hard and it shows; there’s a great fluency and craft to their sound and you get the feeling every beat has been pored over meticulously. They take their cues from skate and tech punk with plenty of melody woven across detailed and often complex riffs. Thankfully they aren’t guilty of the dreaded ‘over-twiddle’ (aka doing a Belvedere) which can easily irritate.
They’re a sincere band and this proves to be a double-edged sword. Their heart-on-sleeve lyrics and straight-forward vocals do add gravitas and avoid kooky inclinations. Occasionally though, they are guilty of being over-earnest, and lacking the spice and verve of say, A Wilhelm Scream. They lost their original singer way back when, never replaced him and became a four-piece. The vocals are proficient rather than provoking, holding a tune but ultimately rather bland.
This said, flair isn’t everything, and RLV’s weaknesses are well parried by their considerable song-writing strengths. The record sounds fantastic for a low-profile release, and a couple of tracks, such as the punch-packing Welcome Insanity, hint at their true potential. This is a very competent if not spectacular second release, by a promising band who deserve attention and require a little tweaking.