Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, DEN - 26/4
Snakes & Ladders
Written by: PP on 23/11/2016 23:09:03
Colt 45 are a relatively unknown punk rock band from Cumbria, UK playing the sort of working class punk rock that's roughly equivalent to the Midwestern punk scene in the US. But that's about to change. They released a debut album two years ago to little fanfare, but the new release "Snakes & Ladders" is arguably the best EP within punk rock this year, perfectly balancing anthemic guitar melodies against gritty vocals and upbeat song structures. Instrumentally, they follow in the footsteps of The Gaslight Anthem's old material with energizing riffs and cheerful melodies drawing from The Great American Song, but the spotlight is stolen by the brilliant vocal talent of Neil Harper.
Harper's delivery oozes of pure charisma and knack for writing unpolished, but infectiously catchy hooks that elevate the songs far above their peers. Their coarse nature easily lures in the punk rock crowd, whilst the sense of yearning Americana suggests the band has already set their sights on something much more ambitious. Think of him as a perfect midpoint between Polar Bear Club's Jimmy Stadt on their older, rougher material and Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem. Mouth feeling watery just yet? For good reason. A song like "All Hell Broke Loose" is the kind of material that wins you over on first listen, from its opening explosive, yet anthemic chant "All...hell broke loose, when you told the truth". The playful rhythm of "Square One" coupled with its high-octane delivery and irresistible chorus make it another highlight. At the same time, "Lost For Words" draws parallels to Polar Bear Club's sophomore album due to its warmth-filled roars that feel instantly familiar and recognizable even if this is the first time you're listening to Colt 45.
And that, my friends, is proof of great songwriting right there. Six brilliant songs balancing a hair-thin line between unpolished Midwestern punk and alternative, each with its own memorable chorus and all sharing the same raw, high-energy vibe, coupled with the honesty-driven songwriting, palpable work ethic, and tight delivery. The consistency on the EP is scary - don't be surprised if next year Colt 45 return with a sophomore album that'll put them on the map for just about everyone listening to punk rock and beyond, much like what happened with The Gaslight Anthem after "The '59 Sound".
Download: All Hell Broke Loose, Square One
For the fans of: The Gaslight Anthem, The Cold Beat, Polar Bear Club
Release date 29.04.2016