NOT SINCE THE ACCIDENT - Paved With Gold
One of the great things about regularly going to gigs
is seeing a fledgling band starting to find their feet and ultimately
growing into a full fledged rock behemoth. An example of such a band
is NOT SINCE THE ACCIDENT.
Having formed at the end of 2010, with members of past
and present South Wales bands, they emerged after six months of dedicated
rehearsals to play their first gig. At that point they were armed
with only a 3 track demo and about 25 minutes of material. I caught
them for the first time in July 2011 and whilst they were rough and
ready, you could still detect their potential given the overwhelming
enthusiasm they put into every song.
With constant touring they have become professional
and battle hardened and their dedication has been rewarded with support
slots for Foreign Legion, Vice Squad and UK Subs to name but a few.
However, their big chance is yet to come as, in May, they fly to the
US to support A Minor Revolution on their 8 date East Coast tour,
finishing off in the Big Apple on 8th June.
So it was a pleasure to recently receive their first proper release
in "PAVED WITH GOLD" EP on Renegade Sounds Records. The
CD was produced by Todd Campbell (of Straight Line and Dopamine fame)
at the professionally run and rock friendly Stompbox Studios. The
line up remains the same as at outset with Rhys on vocals, Boris on
bass and backing vocals, Lewis on drums and Steve on vocals and guitar.
Opening number "Have a Go Hero" is a nod to Phoenix Jones,
the resident of Seattle who became a real life super hero by forming
a crime prevention patrol group in the US city. With an almost Sham
69 opening, its not long before the trade mark lead guitar is wailing
over a thumping backbeat and normal serviced is well and truly resumed.
'"AKA UK" is the closest they come to a traditional 3 chord
punk song. Mostly one tempo throughout, it has the type of shouty
Oi inspired chorus that was prevalent in punk songs of the early 80's.
However, a nice bass line in the middle ensures the lads don't totally
regress to a time before they were born (and I was in my hay day!).
Delving below the wall of sound the song relates the sense of depression
we all feel when getting up once more to face the drudgery of another
Just to show they are not one dimensional, "Silent
Streams" is about a recurring dream suffered by singer Rhys.
In a cathartic exercise, he puts into words his vision of an apocalyptic
future and impending Armageddon. However, before you think they've
gone all soft, his confessions are put to a thundering backdrop that
would truly wake anyone from their slumber. Almost steampunk at times.
"Nothing left to hate" makes a point about a perennial problem
punk has suffered since the early days and the likes of bands such
as Crass, Chumbawamba and Conflict. That is to say by turning overly
political, and focusing on perceived intolerance, they end up lecturing
people about what they can and cannot do. In so doing they become
intolerant and dictatorial themselves - "You use your music as
a platform. You use your band and the stage. You use your music as
a vehicle. To protect your all out rage". Wise words indeed.
"John Doe" sees the vocal duties mostly taken over by guitarist
(and songwriter) Steve. Whilst relating a hypothetical situation,
it still draws on real life scenarios of brave people sacrificing
themselves to save others, as recently seen in the Aurora cinema shootings
in Denver. The songs relates to the inner trauma and mixed emotions
of a woman who survives only due to the selfless sacrifice of another.
"MHz" opens with a stonking bass line by Boris, reminiscent
of "Holidays in Cambodia" by the Dead Kennedys, before the
machine gun drums of Lewis moves matters forward apace. "Useless
Wooden Toys" is an ode to the all the guy's formative years as
active skateboarders. Whilst they don't shred anymore they carry the
spirit within. All set to a blitzkrieg,100 mph, musical backing.
Final track " Run For Your Life" gives further proof they
are prepared to stray away from the normal song topics of punk bands.
Written from the prospective of the indigenous tribes people who find
themselves being driven from the rain forests of Brazil. The song
highlights the juxtaposition of progress coming at the cost of communities.
Something that has been seen many times over in the history of our
own green and pleasant land!
So there you have it, an excellent debut from an up
and coming band. Whilst still catering to the hardcore area of the
genre, they are not afraid to shift tempo and throw in the odd curve
ball. Especially pleasing is the variety, and oddity, of the subject
matter as punk has long been bedeviled by rehashed songs of largely
overly masculine pastimes such as booze, football and violence.
The EP is professionally made, both by in front of and behind the
mixing desk, with good clean design and full lyric sheet. For a measly
£5 you get 8 tracks and 18 minutes of raw, punk rock. Good value
in anyone's books I'd say.
With gigs booked for Swansea and Bristol shortly, they make their
last UK appearance before jetting to the USA by supporting Vice Squad
in Pontypool on 4 May 2013. Try and catch them then, before they return
in triumph to sold out nights at the O2 Arena! Failing that, check
out the links below on how to get your hands on a copy of the EP.