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 working day.

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.