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EP Review: The Black EP by Brawlers

Leeds indie punks Brawlers have released their new EP The Black EP via Alcopop! Records. Generally speaking EPs do one of two jobs for an established – either to fill the gap between albums or announce a new sound. The Black EP falls into the latter; this is a new refined poppier version of Brawlers.

Unfortunately it just doesn’t have any of the pizazz that made debut album Romantic Errors of Our Youth such an infectious album. It’s almost as if the band have tried to be more accessible and measured and lost their magic.

Opener ‘Day Job’ threatens to kick into life but never seems to go anywhere, while ‘Growing Up’ threatens to be the anthemic song that the EP needs before you grow tired of the repeated line ‘fuck growing up’.  You can’t help but think that the lyrics are at odds with the change in sound. Musically it’s all a little more mature yet lyrically everything on The Black EP smacks of the band being spoilt brats.

‘Shake Me Into Shape’ is the only real high point of the EP. It’s an immediate and infectious slab of pop punk. It raises a smile and you wish the rest of the EP could even be half as good. The least said about ‘Better Looking’ and ‘Do You Believe Me Now’ the better, their nothing songs – bland and inoffensive.

On Romantic Errors of Our Youth it was easy to like Brawlers, here they crush that completely. This new direction will appeal to a younger, angsty listener – it has the hallmarks of a band abandoning the sound that made them exciting for a chance at success.

AD Rating 4.5/10

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