On this follow up to ‘I’m An Adult In A Punk Rock Band’, Leicester’s Our Souls condense all of their best traits into a five song, thirteen minute blast.‘I Won’t Tell You The Same Lie’ appears to value its ferocious guitar riffs above everything else, but scratch just beneath the surface noise, and you’ll find musicians who understand an importance of big choruses and tight basslines to help drive their unquestionably enjoyable noise – and in a couple of cases, aren’t afraid to throw everything at an arrangement to see what sticks. More often than not, their gutsy approach works brilliantly.
At the band’s broadest this time around, there are hints of Fugazi lurking within the noisy fuzz punk of ‘Ekman’s 7th’ in the way that a brighter sounding guitar is used to pierce through the wall of noise that’s quickly set in place. This is expanded upon elsewhere to add a great counter melody, without drawing too much away from the performance’s punky aesthetic. Beyond that, you’ll experience a very British take on melodic hardcore as the three minute arrangement explodes with an array of shouty vocals, and punchy basslines. Of particular note, bassist Andy continually lifts the piece with some very intricate work, and this too feels like a step forward for Our Souls. Extant fans will more than recognise the same band they loved before, of course, and the more aggressive side of their work really hits hard elsewhere. This is especially the case on the brilliant ‘12312342’ which at first sounds like a pitch perfect homage to the early work of No Use For A Name and classic Strike Anywhere, but it soon branches out to share more of its own identity. With its fierce bass rattle and further leaning towards melodic hardcore and the thrashier intent of the Our Souls sound wasting no time in coming forward, it immediately grabs the listener’s attention. As before, though, there are a few things lurking within arrangement that ensure it’s far greater than a band just hacking out punky noise. The angular melody driving the pre-chorus is immediately striking, and an unexpected 80s metal lead guitar break going straight into a bridge displaying a 60s inspired stereo split shows a love for the quirky. With an abrasive rhythm cast against a really tight drum also adding to a brilliant hardcore breakdown, this is not to be missed.
Mixing the punky with a little abrasive indie, the intro to ‘Something Fierce’ shows a slightly different side to the band, and a huge lead guitar riff that powers the verse continues a very melodic streak. Elsewhere, the track appears to delight in losing itself in a strong gang vocal that’s a little more punk oriented, whilst crashing rhythms keep up a fierce energy. A three minute blast that is unafraid in exploring many of Our Souls’ different styles in one track, it’s really catchy without being commercial, and the same could be said for ‘Janey’ with its melodic intro creating a musical red herring before exploding into a heady collision of punk rhythms and howling lead guitars. Here, more than ever, Mark gets to share some distinctive tones, whilst he and Jim explode with a pointed, natural vocal. Those who’ve already latched onto Ben’s hard drumming style will find plenty to enjoy here too, as he drops some really deep tom sounds between the more typical abrasive rhythms, and with a guitar solo that sounds more attuned to a full on folk punk banger, this number is further proof – if it were needed – that Our Souls work a kitchen sink approach to the material very effectively on this EP.
Rounded out by ‘Cuckoo Clock’, a hard driving shout along that combines dirty guitars and grinding bass sounds to create an almost grungy equivalent of DIY indie punk, there are no weak moments on this short release. Wherever you choose to drop in, you’ll discover a band who are able to command a great riff or three, and equally adept at dropping strong, shout-along hooks in a classic punk style. Above all, they understand the value of actual songs. In terms of underground punk, this is very strong; the sound of a band on the rise, and the work of a forceful unit ready to take things to the next level. As with most musical progress, it could be long and hard battle, but Our Souls now sound ready to put up one hell of a fight.