New Homes/New Hopes feels like some guys got together and decided to throw their barely tragic stories together and get people to listen to them. On closer inspection there’s serious musicianship in here, but it feels raw, unpolished, and that’s what I love about this EP. Every track here fits that 20-something, angsty indie punk that defines a generation.
To me, this is music for regular folk. This EP portrays the Amateur Historians as young, suburban chaps making their way through life, making decisions, and screwing up occasionally. It’s not some rich-boy, classically trained organic crap. This stuff is full of pesticides and you probably will get some chronic, chemically induced illness from it, but heck will you enjoy it.
New Homes/New Hopes opens with some stellar noisy-pop in the form of We’re So Far From The Sea, But You Look Like You’ve Drowned. This track packs feelings about the aftermath of a failed relationship, something that most people have experienced. The Average Joe-ness of this band is really brought to the fore through Chris Curry’s singing – it’s not perfect. But again, I love that unpolished quality here. However, when I feel the track needs to reach a new height with the lines, “Keep saving your graces, I’ll keep taking my chances” what we’re given feels more like a build up to a chorus rather than the big chorus we yearn for.
These Cities Are Stealing My Soul is full of scratchy hooks and heads more towards the Two Door Cinema Club spectrum in terms of music. Chris spits out complaints about his hometown and how he ‘thinks it’s time to leave.’ I’ve a spare room if Portadown’s any better? This track characterises care-free nature of the whole EP.
Arterial Route From Heart To Heart – and the previous interlude – are way way downbeat for this release. Everyone needs a break from the compelling, electric, let’s go break stuff tracks – I understand. This song presents a realistic view on relationships – “It’s hard work but it’s worth every second.”
The Party & the Aftermath urges a partner not to make a drunken mistake that could ruin a relationship. Dreamy guitar licks are a highlight of this track – and of others on the album – as well the relentless drumming of Gerard McCorry.
This EP finishes with what I consider the best track of the five – Let’s Take Some Positives From This. Honestly, I can think of more than a few positives to take from this track and the EP as a whole. Luke Casey propels this track forward with solid and, at times, intricate bass lines. The group vocals are a welcome addition and add something more to grab the listener’s attention. It’s hard to know what exactly the lyrics are referencing, but the lesson here is that no matter how bad your situation, you can save some face and take some positives from it.
Don’t get me wrong when I throw around words like ‘average’ and ‘regular.’ This is a quality EP that shows bags of potential for a young band. The ‘averageness’ comes from the accessibility of the songs. They document situations that are relevant to a lot of people, particularly their own demographic.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Let’s Tale Some Positives ▶
◀ SOUNDS LIKE ⁞ Death Cab For Cutie ▶