Starting off this fantastic split record are Kingston’s Losing Sleep. Right from the off I was hooked on this band – reminiscent in different ways and in different places of The Get Up Kids, Hot Water Music (lyrically speaking) and Jimmy Eat World, I found myself singing along with their hooks before the end of the first chorus.
In places, the lead singer is a lot like Nathan ONSIND in terms of the interesting word choice going on. Whether it’s a heartfelt demand for the truth, a dismissive (yet still hopeful) remembrance of a break up or the hospitalisation mentioned in ‘July Inside’ (my favourite), the lyrics always still seem optimistic and uplifting even with the dark content.
Production is a lot like the Handholder EP by Grown Ups or the ONSIND/Calvinball/Apologies, I Have None split from a few years ago. No real issues with it, although the vocals are a little low in the mix for me (I do that too, but I can’t sing like this band!).
Immediate but thoughtful, reserved but full of attack, this band are sure to feature on my ‘must listen’ list when I talk about music in the pub. If I had to criticise this release it would be that it’s too short, where are the other eight songs?! Looking forward to hearing more from this band in the coming months and I hope a Scottish show is on the cards soon.
Durham fuzz poppers T-Shirt Weather are up next and play a delicious blend of pop punk and fuzzy Beach Boys-influenced pop. This band are seriously uplifting and devastating in equal measure at all times – the refrain of “I swear we’ll be okay” on second track ‘If On A Winter’s Night A Graveler’ is a testament to this fact. I can’t help but draw comparisons with their city-sharing chums Martha and ONSIND due to the well-written and clever lyrics.
The recording is a tad rougher than the other side of this record, but that is no bad thing (since the performance is fucking amazing). This band feel like they would go down amazingly with the ‘old guard’ of Lookout bands like 39/Smooth era Green Day and The Mr. T Experience (when both bands were still good).
Fuzzy loveliness from Durham punx peppered with very clever and sentimental lyrics, this is a must for anyone who has found themselves bopping their head to ONSIND/Martha in the last 18 months. I’m looking forward to getting to see these guys live in the near future. Top class pop punk á la 1998!
Each side of the split is available now digitally on the bands’ respective Bandcamp pages and on 12” from Everything Sucks Music.
– Andy Chainsaw