This cheekily titled EP from  SmallTown America’s greatest offspring to date, is a bit like getting a letter from a beloved relative, only to realise it was posted in advance of their death. All of a sudden you are reminded of all the good times you had; the gigs, the ‘Bucko’ album – sigh – then you suddenly realise that they are dead, and you drink a bottle of vodka, and get arrested for beating up a kitten.

Domestic pet abuse aside, this is – as you would expect – a great record.

Fickle Public are one of those bands that fuse post-hardcore riffs, with amazing pop structures to great effect. Their last album – the aforementioned ‘Bucko’ – was an instant classic, and I was convinced they would go on to become leaders of their scene. Alas, they broke up, and we all thought that would be last we heard from them.

Not so.

‘Adam Hocing’ opens in traditional Fickle Public style, huge riffs are cut off abruptly by jagged stabs, and awkward melodies. The tune feels more refined this time though, as if the band has truly mastered their craft. ‘Non Stop Hot’ reminds me of an angry version of ‘The Lapse’, nice off-kilter mathy guitars, and really nicely screeched vocals. ‘San Diego Hair (Fickle Public know the score version)’ sounds like it should be near the latter half of ‘Bucko’. Nice rolling guitars, and sparkly picking, meet really nice melodies.

Things really take a turn towards the ‘this is what you might have got’ with ‘Revel Revel’. It’s a stunning piece of Gang of Four-esque-pop-punk, with one of the most catchy choruses I have heard in ages, “we are coming, we are coming, Revel Revel Revel”. The band have, in true ‘end of an era’ style, saved the best for last. ‘Winning’ is a stunning piece of music. Amazing epic buildups, meet witty lyrics, and awe inspiring emotional swings. This song pretty much sums up everything I love about this band.

To say bittersweet would be an understatement; but I am glad they released these songs. You really should go and buy it…and then find all their old releases…and then come kitten-beating with me.

Ken Eakins

About the Author

Ken Eakins is a filmmaker and weird stuff enthusiast from the South of England.

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