Release Date: 8th April 2016
In April this year, Nottingham’s Little Bribes announced the release of their debut EP ‘Obstacles’. The EP is a culmination of a year together as a band and in that short space of time, the four piece have gone from opening up open mic nights to supporting the likes of Turnover, Sorority Noise and Johnny Foreigner, alongside selling out a number of local shows. Recorded over the course of a January weekend, these 5 tracks contain a great mix of the band’s influences with early Washington punk mixed with great indie rock.
The immediate opening of clunky guitar chords on ‘Between Blood’ gives us the sense that this EP will feature some strong punk influenced moments and on that it truly delivers as the track crashes in with pounding drums, rough around the edges vocals and sleazy guitar lines. When the tempo and ferocity is reduced, they are replaced with flowing guitars, harmonious vocals and a more chilled out feel. And with a fast and loud second half mimicking it’s opening; it is a commanding start to the EP that leaves you wanting to find out more.
Hard hit drums and yo-yoing guitar riffs bring us into ‘Deadname’ which is a short, fast and loud punk rock track from first chords to last. Screaming vocals command your attention grabbing hold of you and pulling you further and further into the chaos of the music that surrounds those defiantly delivered lyrics. The breakdown to the finish, with crashing cymbals and thrashed out drums, shows great promise from a band who are confident enough to end a track on their debut EP with a near 30 second guitar fade out.
On the complete opposite end of the musical spectrum is ‘Cartography’, with it’s gentle opening of calm, flowing guitar notes and almost tranquil atmosphere. The relaxed feel is maintained when the vocals arrive full of harmony and listlessness giving you a great opportunity to really hear the storytelling. It’s really quite a stunning track in its simplicity and ambience that runs throughout those rolling guitar chords punctuated wonderfully with soft cymbal splashes. That all changes in the final minute and a half though when intricate riffs and rapid drums come in backing up shouted vocals to play out this mid-point track.
While an abrupt start plays us into ‘Raggy Dolls’ with it’s deep, imposing vocals mixed with screeching yet chugging guitars. The uptempo choruses are hugely melody driven making them catchy and infectious in their delivery, making you want to sing and dance along at any given opportunity.
Softly plucked guitar opens ‘Living Room’ on its own creating one of the calmer tracks on this debut EP. The guitar builds and is soon joined by deep, reverberating bass notes and the subdued shimmer of the cymbals. The vocals are left almost vulnerable and undisturbed sitting on top of the mellow sounds; that is before the punctual beat of the drum and the wonderful melody driven guitar step in to create a very good indie rock track. The track evolves again for its final hurrah that sees drums beaten, cymbals clattered and vocals screamed and shouted, playing us out with as much authority and fanfare as possible.
You check out the single, ‘Between Blood’, taken from the EP below: