Who are Cleavers? I doubt very much that anyone who visits this site on a regular basis has to ask that question as they’re mentioned a couple of times a week. Not because I’m a total fanboy, but because they are rather prolific. Life Is Shit is the 5th EP kinda thing from the band since they started in November 2011, that’s quite an out put! And they have a very active presence on the interwebs. This has led to gigs all over the UK and some in Europe.
I also have a t-shirt. So yeah, I am a fan. Not stalking them or anything. Hell, haven’t managed to see them live yet….
It would be easy to just write “It’s the Cleavers, they’re punk, you know what to expect”. It would also be a bit wrong really. Punk comes in a couple of flavours. The old school thrashy screamy stuff with people who can’t really play and can’t really sing. And the new stuff where everyone can play and sing, they probably skateboard and snowboard, and the punk element is more down to piercings, tats and having a laugh. I enjoy both. Most stuff fits in between. That’s where the Cleavers sit.
But yes it’s true, the tracks on here aren’t ballads or anything. If you’ve heard Cleavers in the past and enjoyed them you’ll enjoy this as it’s loud and a bit screamy. If you haven’t heard them before it’s a good intro to the band. Also, if you haven’t heard them before then why the fuck aren’t you listening to my radio show cause they’ve been played a few times? Git…
First track Brian Johnsons Hat starts with a squeal of feedback, thumping drum and then everyone fires up. It’s somewhat swallowed in the mix but there’s some damned fine bass playing happening in the back ground. Danny’s singing can make it pretty hard to make out what he’s saying at times, no different here really, and there’s some old school group yelling on offer too. I’ll probably describe MOST of the vocals as screaming or yelling but it’s actually singing and not just noise. Gives the band a distinctive sound where you’ll recognise them instantly. While they are punk there are some very….I want to say normal rock but rock opposed to punk….moments and one is on offer mid song here. Good break and a strong finish.
This Rain Will Never End thumps straight in to things with heavy drums and thrashing guitar. There’s a tambourine in there too, and some punk woahs. A classic style punk tune with actual sung choruses like other kinds of music, and legibly yelled verses. A steady backing track following the vocals so that if you listened instrumentally you’d probably still hear the lyrics. This one swings in to heavy metal territory for a moment then back in to rock for the musical break portion. Some epic solo action going on here, really impressive stuff. And it finishes how it starts, thumping drums.
Finally, for the vinyl anyway, The Posters Are Falling Off My Walls. Head nodding start, strongly bass lead verses and rocky choruses. Good used to silences or near silences at the start and middle, and a VERY epic rock solo thrown in for good measure. Well two I guess. If I have one complaint? It’s fades out…. I’m not a fan of the fade out. In general, I don’t mean specifically here. Always wonder if I JUST miss something great at the end.
So that’s what you get on Vinyl. On the digital download, which is included with the physical purchase, you also get a session cover of I Wanna Be Your Dog originally by the Stooges, and session versions of Girls In Their Sunday Best and The Posters Are Falling Off My Walls. I’ll not bother keeping on reviewing though as I’ve said enough bollocks really.
If you’re a fan of the Cleavers or punk/rock music in general I’d highly recommend grabbing a copy as it’s a damned fine EP/7″/whatever. If you hate punk, this isn’t going to change your mind. You can get both the digital and physical versions here for a pittance, along with the other stuff the Cleavers have put out. Probably not t-shirts though, they sell out of those pretty quickly.
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