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Fresh Birmingham three piece Mild Headache have released their first self titled ep, and to be honest I haven’t felt so much hope for a new band in a while. Their fuzz- punk, fast paced and relentlessly catchy tunes have really stuck with me. Despite this being their first release, it feels like they’re already established as a band and it’s clear there’s some real songwriting skill involved.

The ep opens on ‘Death Instead’. Melodic and full of distortion, it’s really freeing listening. This ep overall gives off a feeling of summer liberty and in this song that’sespecially exemplified. The pace of the drums is frantic and oddly dance-able considering the darkness of the lyrics. That juxtaposition is interesting, in a way it’s quite playful. The vocal tones come through strong above the thrashing guitar here, and melody is a real focus.

‘Opportunity’ opens on a simple but very snappy riff – that simplicity is something I value a lot in this ep. It’s simply a collection of fantastic songs without pretention. That simplicity sometimes feels missing in a world where everything is so easily complicated. However ‘opportunity’isn’t without its depth. Around halfway through there’s a killer guitar solo covered in that signature fuzz.

I think my highlight of the ep is ‘tinnitus’ – it’s a bit more stripped back in the verses and slower, without most of the distortion. This makes for variation with the chorus – the quiet verse/loud chorus dynamic is very prevalent which is something I really enjoy listening to. Towards the end there is a dramatic change in tempo and another awesome guitar solo – there’s a real sense of playfulness and the fun punk energy I think we’re all needing at the moment (distract yourself from political strife with this ep, trust me it works).

The ep closes on ‘angst’, a scarcastic anthem for the young and a nostalgic one for the old. The tone here reminds me a lot of green day, especially with the guitar styling. The guitars chug at the pre chorus, before the sound explodes into a chorus I can’t stop singing. The lyrics feel like they relate to the invalidation of your feelings as a teenager (“such an angsts teen//everybody seems to know what I mean”) – the way your emotions are blamed on pure angst. The end of the song is significantly angrier by the rest of this ep – the mostly clean but fuzzy vocals earlier are replaced with a frustrated scream.

Overall I absolutely adore the simple, snappy and fun nature of this ep. I see a very bright future for this band and I really hope they can achieve that.

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