Thursday, June 13, 2013

Topbunk - Better Sleep

01. Branigan
02. Our Can Saw
03. Rosie Had A Stroke
04. Comfort Driving

Topbunk play a chunky, quick moving style of emo full of shouted vocals and noodly riffs. This quick four song EP is a good introduction for the band, and provides a base to innovate on moving forward. The guitars are largely straightforward, switching between noodly riffs and chords all while maintaining that jangly, slightly overdriven Fender sound. Vocally, Topbunk moves between forceful shouts and an off kilter singing that at some points reminds me of Atom and His Package. While not introducing any ideas that are wildly original here, Topbunk shows promise and could create something truly engaging moving forward.

Reviewed by Justin.

Ok, so I covered Topbunk's first record when it was first released November last year, how have the emo mouth of the south progressed with their new release 'Better Sleep'? Let’s find out. The first song on this new 4 track EP is 'Branigan', which starts with the familiar vocals and a really cool sounding scratchy guitar riff, pretty cool however it's not halfway through this first song that I can see the progression in the sound. There's a wonderful drop out part with just guitar playing thinly and a very catchy vocal line over. These guys always seem to get the catchyness right. They never over use vocal lines which I so often find to be the most frustrating thing in emo music. Our second track is titled 'Our Can Saw'. This is the shortest track on the record. This one is my favourite out of the four however. I feel that it's a step above the rest of the tracks, especially lyrically. "I can read you like a book in braille, conversations as colorful as grayscale but I get so lonely sometimes" is such a great lyric which really stood out to me. I think it's the drums in this song that do it for me most however, I love 4/4 full beats that go into half time during the same phase, sometimes they can sound pretty tacky but I think here it sound pretty fantastic. Right, is the next track. 'Rosie Had A Stroke', which is a pretty striking title if i’m being honest. One that doesn't make me feel very comfortable just with how up front it is, however it's about the song right? Not the title. It’s starts with a cool, very thin/scatty riff and almost immediately kicks in with those familiar vocals yet again but this time I felt obligated to look at the lyric due to the title of the song and I found this phrase. "I'll hold you tight, while I push you away, I'll say goodbye, and yell please stay". This track is obviously very heart felt and I love that, feel like too many emo bands might be talking about fake issues but this is one of the most genuine things I've read, I urge everybody to listen to at least this song. 'Comfort Driving' is the name of the last track and it start with a half time, almost breakdown type riff. This is a really smart move I feel like, seeing as 'Branigan' was pretty fast paced all the way through, it’s cool to end on a slower paced song. This is more my type of thing due to it's slow but still energetic nature. On this track you can also tell that the 2 piece have started splitting up their vocals. So Gregg will do all the harsher almost screamed vocals and Joey will do the cleans. I feel like this is a really smart move to be honest. I feel like it's better to stick at what you're good at and that's something that they've done on this record. Now, have Topbunk progressed, I think lyrically, yes and musically in some aspects. For me, I'm still not over 'Springlake Pharmacy', but I know other people will be dying for more of these dudes! It's a very cool and solid release, with some fantastic parts although I feel that some of it could be a little more adventurous, but that’s just me being picky. I think the vocals on this record are a lot more polished but some how that gives it a little less character. Plus, no brass!? Nevertheless anybody that likes good emo should be into this.

Reviewed by Steven.

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