There are no frills and spills with Bristol band Everything We Left Behind just direct, fast, and attitude loaded punk rock sounds. Formed in late 2005 the UK punksters have seen and been through the negativity of various line-up changes, deceits and betrayals, plus the usual financial ailments that most bands contract. For many that is the end, for Everything We Left Behind it was the fuel for them to intensify the fight, creating a reputation for their high octane live shows and now returning with an impressive album loaded with all the elements of punk that makes it one that is returned to repeatedly and eagerly.
The quartet’s album Our Ears Are Bleeding lays waste with eleven songs seemingly schooled in the ways of Epitaph and the great bands that came from their grounds. The influences of the likes of NOFX and Pennywise as well as bands like Capdown and Blink 182 are plain to hear, not that the band tries to hide them, this is their grounding, inspiration and they take it with relish and turn it into their own interpretation, and very successfully.
The band first came to notice for most with their debut EP Pull Back And Go released to much media acclaim; with the album the foursome of Josh Rees (guitar / vocals), Joel Rees (guitar), Sam Cureton (bass), and John Yard (drums) have taken the things that made the EP stand out and created a release with more intensity, energy and defiance musically and lyrically. Dressed with an anger and raw directness Our Ears Are Bleeding, consisting of songs written over the past 2 years, grabs attention and makes its points whilst bringing a feel good factor with catchy hooks and inviting riffs.
‘Generica’ opens up the album with a solid chunk of straight forward punk sounds from the stable of NOFX, not anything particularly head turning but with a punch and delivery that shows the band have more than the average band treading the same punk fields bring. It also reveals that the two Rees brothers handle their guitars with instinctive skill and inventive thoughts.
‘Guillotine’ takes over the reins with a fresh and eager attack its high pace and arresting charge complimented by a great vocal delivery from Josh Rees showing he works with lyrical hooks as well as his guitar plays them. The bass of Cureton comes to the fore here too but even more so on the next track ‘A Place Called Nowhere’ where his deep throaty tones brings an edge to the track, whilst the drums of Yard demand attention with a sure hand.
All the tracks on Our Ears Are Bleeding do their job with slightly varying degrees but not one lets the albums high level slide, each carrying ingredients that makes the songs impossible to deny. Two tracks have that addictiveness and marked appeal in abundance ‘No Friend Of Mine’ and ‘Don’t Be Hasty’. The first of the two is the albums best track by far, a quick fire strike bringing all the positives and sound that made CIV one of the best punk bands, especially hooks that dares one to ignore them, playing on the ear like a sugar fix, short and very sweet. The latter track also brings similar hooks and aggression to the table but fused with some inspired melodies, harmonies, and urgency that mesmerises and seduces, truly the album is worth a listen for these two songs alone.
Do Everything We Left Behind with their album Our Ears Are Bleeding bring anything openly new to the punk genre? The answer has to be a no but nor do they simply rehash already existing sounds or ideas, their influences are obvious and proudly displayed but used as a trigger and turned into a defined delivery very much their own. As the closing track title says ‘It’s Not Plagiarism It’s Just Similar‘, it is also thoroughly enjoyable.