Split Review: Don’t Ask! Records Four-Way Split

The 7” split recently released on Don’t Ask! Records features one song from each of four well established DIY punk bands commande le viagra. The split is also available digitally through Don’t Ask! Records’ Bandcamp.

The first track, “We Seem Okay” is provided by Cheltenham’s Austeros. Austeros, much like bands such as The Kimberley Steaks and T-Shirt Weather have a knack for writing serious lyrics that could easily be seen as depressing and then setting them to brilliantly catchy music, resulting in songs that are not only upbeat and easy to sing along to, but provide a sort of catharsis for the audience by addressing feelings and emotions that can otherwise be difficult to discuss. “We Seem Okay” is a perfect example of this, a big, catchy melody and lyrics about looking “okay” from a distance whilst in reality being far from it.

Next up is Happy Accidents’ track, “Rather Not Know”. The London based band’s debut EP Not Yet Jaded (2014) was met with warm approval and the prospect of new songs is quite exciting. Happy Accidents’ previous songs have always been bouncy and full of energy but “Rather Not Know” is even bouncier. With at times shouty vocals and repeated lines, the song packs a huge amount  of energy into a very short time (under two minutes).

Next is “Better Yet” by Nottingham’s Isaac, an all-round solid poppy/punky tune, with catchy lyrics and great sounding guitar combined with the band’s distinctive vocals, the song keeps up the energy of the previous two songs without sounding too similar to them. Isaac released their first LP entitled Burner on Don’t Ask! Records earlier this year and it’s positive to see that they haven’t slowed down on releasing new songs since.

Lastly is Brighton’s Young Attenborough‘s contribution to the split: ”Tales of the Unexplained”. Unlike the other three songs on the split, this song starts off rather slowly – which is by no means a bad thing – but in it’s own time picks up speed until it can becomes comparable to Isaac’s track in terms of bounciness. The song really feels like what Young Attenborough do best: borderline dark sounding vocals and catchy guitar coming together to create a unique and thoroughly enjoyable sound, and a great “wind down” after the energy of the first few tracks.

A solid release from one of the UK’s best DIY labels, and an amazing showcase of their artists.

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Jacob Oleshko

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