As August looms it really should be time for us to break out the summer jams and sit outside celebrating the warm weather. However, if you're in the UK like me you'll be grateful of a morning if you can get away with just wearing a hoodie on the way to work. The only thing we have to stop the grey skies and dark clouds getting to us is a good summer record and we've certainly had some this year: Great Cynics, Woahnows and Jeff Rosenstock, just to name a few, have already wowed us with some brilliantly bright punk rock records but now it's the turn of The Ordinary Boys - wait, what?
The Ordinary Boys appear to be reborn if 'Four Letter Word' is anything to go by, so they feature alongside Nathan Detroit and Donovan Wolfington is this week's Listening Game.
Nathan Detroit - 'Downcast
Nathan Detroit aren't afraid to show their appreciation for the the 90s with, new track, 'Downcast'. Bringing together twitchy emo riffs, just a little bit of shoegaze in the chorus and the effervescent sound of classic pop-punk, it's an interesting juxtaposition of characteristics that works surprisingly well thanks to some thoughtful arrangement. At it's most energetic 'Downcast' is a blistering pop-punk track, but the addition of a few simple yet satisfying riffs and a change in momentum gives the track a little extra depth and stops Nathan Detroit from sounding like just another pop-punk band.
Donovan Wolfington - 'Ollie North'
As genre pairings go distorted garage rock and indie-punk don't sound like two things that would go together, but you'd be surprised. 'Ollie North' borrows from The Smiths, Weezer and 90s grunge bands during it's four minutes and the combination works, somehow. Beginning with a jangly indie rock guitar riff and jaunty vocals, descending into a heavier, distorted, sound and then coming back out the other side, it feels like a song caught in two minds but the diverse range of influences that lead to its creation make it more substantial than if it fell either side of the generic fence it's sitting on. Donavan Wolfington's ability to straddle the two styles is why I like it so much.
The Ordinary Boys - 'Four Letter Word'
This one came completely out of left field for me. From 00s indie band whose song 'Boys Will Be Boys' epitomises Britain's godawful 'lad culture', to indie-punk band whose new single is a catchy combination of gloomy vocals and driving guitars with a little 80s pop thrown in for good measure. It's incredibly easy on the ear, a track with anthem written all over it and an example of how to do something different whilst sticking to tried and tested melodic punk fundamentals. Not only that, but it should still appeal to the band's pre-existing fanbase too. One of the biggest surprises of the year for sure. To say I'm intrigued to hear the full album is an understatement.