What an EP!
Just like I do for all my EP reviews, I’ll keep this as brief as this album’s material is. Groovy, catchy, and infectious post-punk seems to be the sound of the year, with Shame’s Drunk Tank Pink kicking the year off as the year's first truly “great” album and Squid dropping in less than a month, so it’s fitting that a band like Courting is debuting with what may go down as one of the greatest EPs of 2021. Bubbling up with buzz garnered from numerous singles released periodically throughout 2020, Courting was one of the acts I was going into 2021 ecstatic to see what they had been cooking up, and I cannot say this band disappointed! Through 4 songs, varying from post-punk ragers to melodic slow-burners to clobbering drunken sailor-esque sing-alongs, Courting offers a short yet incredibly eclectic first helping of tracks that showcases a lot of promise for the band’s future, each member only being in their teenage years.
Sean Murphy-O'Neil’s sometimes frantic other times nonchalant performances, which ooze confidence like a faucet, mesh well with thrashing yet contagious riffs and the satirical, somewhat nonsensical lyrics. Moments like Popshop! and Grand National will have you dancing with their snappy refrains and instantly compelling instrumentals, only for Crass to make you want to smash your fist through a wall with its menacing, fist-clenching off-kilter groove and slightly warped vocal effects. Despite only containing 13 minutes of material, the sky seems to be the limit for a band that is this creative right off the bat, coalescing the old sound of post-punk with the more modern sound. The band is still clearly hasn’t entirely found its voice in the wider realm of post-punk, which ends up being a minor Achilles heel of the record, however, the material presented here is just so exciting that most complaints fall to the back of your mind. Truly great stuff here, bands like this only seem to improve as time goes on so it should go without saying that I am beyond elated to see what the future holds for this band.
In a week with Brockhampton and Taylor Swift, don’t let this EP slip by your radar!
Favorite Tracks: Grand National / Popshop! / Slow Burner
Worst Tracks: Crass