If ‘lo fidelity short attention span punk’ is your thing, then look no further than Brighton’s own The New Tusk, whose new EP ‘Sloom’ was released on April the 8th.
Like a static shock, ‘Sloom’ explodes into action before your fingers have barely brushed the play button. The EP kicks off with ‘Under Something’ which plunges you headfirst into a sea of trebly distortion. Bass heavy and tastefully out of tune, The New Tusks’ 90s Punk influence is made screamingly clear within the first few seconds. But don’t be fooled by the summery slacker vibes; while the band’s sound suggests that they just want to have fun, their lyrics actually have a lot to say – it’s just that you might have to look them up in order to understand what they are saying. Cryptic phrases such as ‘A house, so cynical and perfect, is the furthest thing from home’ and ‘once around the sun again, on a sphere of which I’ve seen nothing’ hurl themselves at you using gruff shouty vocals as a vehicle.
‘Sloom’ on the whole is essentially a disjointed assembly of slightly existentialist lyrics overriding a mess of feel-good punk riffs. ‘Grey Market’ seems to be taking a stab at an industry of recycled material and manufactured artists, exploring a greater range of vocal textures and guitar solos to add a splash of colour to a scene that they seemingly consider to be very monotonous. Then there are tracks that go hand in hand, such as ‘Speed Wobbles’ and ‘Tilt Your Head Back’ which explore the theme of binning the past and living in the present. The former delivers a melodic chorus that would almost sound melancholic if it wasn’t for the consistently forceful vocals, reminding you not to take it all too seriously. Two of the track’s most dominant lines ‘Don’t talk about the past, ‘cause it gets boring/We should go outside, enjoy the weather’ nicely summarise that ‘live in the moment’ attitude.
The only issue with the band’s delivery is the fact that it is so consistent that it runs the risk of making the EP sound like one long song. However, The New Tusk narrowly avoided this by ensuring that each track holds a little alcove of uniqueness that makes it stand out as an individual song. For instance, the sleepy slowed down instrumentation that opens the EP’s final track ‘Cold Steine’ is a bit of a shock to the system, but it doesn’t stick around for long before it busts back into the fast-paced punk that we’ve come to know over the last five songs. The track polishes off ‘Sloom’ perfectly with a chant of ‘I know some people, they don’t say […] what they really want’ which ends abruptly, as if in one final nod to the EP’s general don’t-dwell-on-the-past vibe.
90s Punk revivalists or short attention spanned slackers? The New Tusks’ ‘Sloom’ floats somewhere in the middle – it’s not quite significant enough to be game changing, but it certainly shows that The New Tusk are a lot more focused than they let on.
‘Sloom’ is out now via Beach Community.
This New Tusk article was written by Tyler Turner, a GIGsoup contributor