Since releasing their debut album “London” in 2012 APOLOGIES, I HAVE NONE have fast become a staple of the UK punk-rock scene, a success story that has seen them pick up slots and prestigious festivals all over Europe and tour with some established names such as Crazy Arm, Touché Amoré, Make Do And Mend and The Menzingers. Famed for their energetic shows, it was quite a shock back in February when they announced that joint lead singer Dan Bond would be leaving the band. Despite this, they’ve come back and released the 4-track EP “Black Everything”, out on Oxford-based punk label Beach Community in the UK.
The first thing brought to attention is the shift away from the catchy straight up punk tracks that “London” was littered with. Opener ‘Raging Through the Thick and Heavy Darkness of a Bloodlust’ demonstrates a gloomy, emo-influenced sound that was perhaps to be expected upon reading the song’s title. This release is gloomy in sound more often than it isn’t, as if there is something dark and brooding coming through the ranks of Apologies, I Have None. Josh McKenzie’s desperate vocals are spot on, raging above the towering sound that he and his bandmates shower upon us.
‘Two Bombs In A Box’ is the only track that would perhaps fit on ‘London’, as the band tread on more familiar territory with their singalong lines and gang vocals twinned with the tones of their debut, this will be a live favourite. ‘Coffee, Alcohol, Codeine, Repeat’ then returns to the rage of the opening track, with the band ending on ‘The Clarity of Morning’, a track which gradually builds towards the 2 minute mark before exploding into a Brand New-esqe emo-punk meltdown, the perfect way to finish this EP off.
Apologies, I Have None have broken the mould here. Too often when a band strikes success with their debut release they work so hard on re-creating it that they continually fall flat until people get bored with their lack of inspiration and forget about them. There is no chance of that happening with this EP. Sure, some people might take longer than others to come around to the shift in sound, but they’ll undoubtedly get there. AIHN have explored the obvious angst that young men making punk music thrive upon with ‘Black Everything’, making the EP the perfect taster for the (hopefully) forthcoming second full-length release. The combination of a gloomy sound and down-and-out lyrics make for a horrendously self-deprecating piece of art that is absolutely superb throughout. Losing a member of their quartet has given the London outfit the chance to almost reinvent themselves, and they’ve grabbed the opportunity with all six of their trio of hands. Well played, lads.
Pick up a copy of “Black Everything” right here