My regular readers will know how much I love a good punk band. Even better if they’ve got a cheerful pop slant to them. So, imagine my delight at discovering Aussie band The Summervilles. They’re a trio of energetic power-punk with a very unique sound, drawing on influences from past and present.
Forming in 2010, they have gone on to rock up the Melbourne live circuit. They released an EP called Garage Romantic in 2011 and have spent the time since writing songs for their first full-length album, Twelve Ways To Fuck Up Before Breakfast. The title is a reference to American comedian George Carlin who mentions “six ways to fuck up before breakfast” in his spoken word track Join The Book Club.
Starting with Sudden Death Casino, we get a clear impression of what these guys are about. Punk guitars, angsty vocals with an indie hint and an undeniable Green Day influence. Like many of the tracks on this album, it’s a great live track with a catchy hook and a fierce metallic summer instrumental. Spit It Out and Can’t Count On Me are an extension of this passionate punk vibe with slamming guitars and punchy attitude-filled vocals.
They also touch on a retro rock ‘n’ roll vibe, which is particularly prominent on Once More Without Feeling, I’ll Be Gone and Save Those Memories. Once More Without Feeling has a simple swaying rhythm and chilled indie tones with a retro rock feel. I’ll Be Gone has the strongest vintage feel with so much 70s punk packed into the riffs. A catchy chorus and upbeat dancing rhythm makes it one of the cheeriest tracks on the album. Save Those Memories has a soft summery riff and drum beat which contrasts with the angsty lead vocal and melodic backing vocals. There is a retro vibe rolling along in the back which keeps it quirky.
The Summervilles aren’t a straight-up punk band and they do occasionally lapse into a more pop-punk sound. Going Steady? has a melodic pop punk riff and a smooth rhythm. It’s quite theatrical as pop-punk tends to be and it’s a great live track. You’re The Batteries End, Oil In Our Blood and I Won’t Be Alright also have this upbeat punk flair with metallic riffs and fuzzy instruments. They’re all big moshpit anthems and again, there is a Green Day slant on them. Passionate emotional vocal delivery is what drives them.
Moving Under and I Will Hold It True are anomalies. The former has a real earworm of a riff and staccato ominous drumming with the indie tones delivered in a punk manner. There is a real focus on the instruments with impressive guitar solos and powerful drums. I Will Hold It True is the only time an acoustic guitar is used. It gives it a kooky folk thread which combines with unpolished punk vocals to create an interesting fusion of styles.
All in all, The Summervilles’ debut album is an action-packed punk extravaganza. If you’re not a punk fan, there are options for you on the record but I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t love fierce attitudes, less-than-perfect melodies and out and out rule breaking. Pick it up if you love a bit of a rebellion!