The list of acts that Berkshire’s Southpaw cite as influences must be huge, as each individual song on this five-track EP is reminiscent of two or three different bands, with little overlap. They are clearly influenced by several emo and pop punk bands – from recent offerings like Prawn and The Menzingers, to old-school Green Day and The Offspring.
Opening track ‘Stitches’ has flashes of Reuben, and is a good intro. The rough vocals and guitar-driven melodies are present in all of their songs. ‘It Goes On’ is a typical pop punk song, and is probably my favourite track on the EP. It’s much more upbeat, and sounds like the fullest song on the EP. The gang vocals work particularly well. ‘Lie Through Your Teeth’ and ‘Driftwood’ fall a bit flat after that, but final track ‘Knocks & Bruises’ gives ‘Stitches’ a strong finish. It sounds a bit like a poppy Against Me! song, and rounds the EP off nicely.
Overall, ‘Stitches’ is quite promising, but I think Southpaw need to tighten up their influences, and stick to what they do best. Because when it sounds good, it’s good. But when it’s bad, it sounds a bit like INME.
– Alex Ryan