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Album Review: How To Treat The Ones You Love by Donovan Wolfington

Donovan Wolfington have released their second album How To Treat The Ones You Love on Topshelf Records. While the album may have a sound recognisable and synonymous with the label there’s something darker looming just under the covers. Lead singer, Neil Berthier describes it as “A dark representation of painful events put in a pretty and crisp bow”.

While the lyrical content of How To Treat The Ones You Love deal with issues of loss, love, disillusionment and death there’s a punky simmer to the music. Lurching between punk, hardcore, post-hardcore and emo its quite impossible not to fall in love with this album. It oozes emotion and revels in luscious riffs.

It was as the band put the finishing touches to the album that they were hit hard by the harsh realities of live. They had been recording in Kenner, a town just outside of New Orleans, when friend and studio owner, Rick Naiser, uncharacteristically called in sick.  What they thought was just a cold turned out to be myleofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder. Just two weeks later, Naiser passed away right before Christmas. The grief of losing a friend was intense and overwhelming but they continued to pour their souls into their music. The production of this album suddenly became about the band righting their wrongs and realizing their failings with the people they care most about.

The raw emotion and honesty that’s gone into How To Treat The Ones You Love give it an extra charm. Whether it be the brutal ‘Hxc Punk’ which is rooted in its name, the emo of ‘Hershel Thursday’, the groove and explosiveness of ‘Slow Loris’ or the metal riffs of ‘Locust’ the different flavours make this the superb album it is.

It’d be a feckless task searching out particular highlights in here; every track is a gem and could easily stand alone as a excellent track. Each track has the emotion and musical power-ess to not only make this Donovan Wolfington’s best material but to mark out How To Treat The Ones You Love as one of the best albums of 2015.

AD Rating 8.75/10

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