Review: Epic Problem/ Holiday split 7″ (Brassneck)

Posted: March 9, 2015 in Reviews

Epic Problem / Holiday - Split 7" cover art

This is a great punk rock 7” from two bands I hadn’t previously heard of. Holiday and Epic Problem are both on the ‘gruff’ end of the punk spectrum, and you can definitely compare the two to certain No Idea heavyweights. However, there is no US-apeing here; this release has UK punk rock written all over it. As such, there are influences here from Off With Their Heads and Hot Water Music, but also Leatherface and Bangers. Epic Problem play gritty, heart-on-sleeve punk rock with gravelly vocals and awesome, poppy guitar leads. There is an aggression and intensity here which is great and would work well in grimy, punk basements, particularly with “Blindside”. The other song “Petrol Blue” meanwhile has some great bittersweet lyrics about leaving your small town behind, which brings to mind Banner Pilot if they were from North-West England:

“Petrol blue was the colour of the sky that day
When we plotted and we schemed, we planned our getaway
Gotta get out of this Godforsaken one horse fucking town
And I’m never coming back, I’m never turning round”

Holiday come from roughly the same sub-genre as Epic Problem, but sound different enough for the team-up to work on a split 7”. They are more melodically driven and slightly slower-placed than Epic Problem, while still packing the same sort of punch. It’s still ‘fists in the air’ punk rock, but perhaps more of a band that you could listen to it in your bedroom while lazing around. I assume (although I may be wrong) that different vocalists are used on the two Holiday songs on this 7”, as the vocals on “Isolation is a Lonely Place to be” sound Chuck Ragan-esque, yet they are more standard pop-punk sounding on “New Eyes For Old Things”. Predictably, the latter song is my favourite song of the four, sounding to me like a cross between early Green Day and the poppier end of ’77 punk, with “nanananas” to boot. For a sound that is caricatured and painted into a corner more than most, Holiday and Epic Problem display the sheer variety on this 7” that the gruff-punk sub-genre can offer when challenged a little.

Stream the split here:http://brassneckrecords.bandcamp.com/album/epic-problem-holiday-split-7

DB

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