Sakawa Boys, the EP’s opener, delivers the hard-hitting statement that “V” is anything but another cutesy indie release tailor-made for daytime festivals. Instead, the track’s piercing guitar solos drenched in angst layered over Strokes-like distortion create an effect that demands your attention.
My favourite track off the EP is ‘Emotional Young Men’. With lyrics like, “I know I said it’d be different/ Well I’m just indifferent when you’re in front of me”, it’s a perfect addition to my “Going Through Some Stuff Right Now” playlist. Seth’s falsetto, which is often the only sound save for the perpetual drumline, adds another element to the beautifully written track.
The brilliantly titled, ‘I Don’t Want to Teach English in South Korea’, picks up the EP’s pace whilst maintaining the band’s moody sound. Vocally, Seth manages to walk the musical tightrope of drawing out his voice without sounding whiny, perfectly – it’s impossible not to like a band who can pull off the “ooh” crooning. This track exemplifies how Sakawa Boys ensure that each other their musical components are clearly audible and defined, saving them from disappearing into the grunge guitar backdrop.
The EP closes with the melancholic balled, ‘Don’t Be a Stranger’. Seth’s pleads, “Don’t be a stranger/ Just be the one I remember” post a drum solo that will undoubtedly have audiences covertly air-drumming along. In direct contrast to the perfunctory opening bassline of the EP, “V” fades out with reverberating eerie notes, capturing the full spectrum of the band’s talent.
“V” is unlike anything I’ve heard from an SA band this year. With its complex, yet refined, sound, “V” is the soundtrack to somewhere between Assembly and the Shack on a Sunday morning. You know you probably aren’t about to make the best life decisions but you feel altogether okay about that.
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Listen to “V” below on Soundcloud.