As a band, releasing your debut EP is a nerve-wrecking experience. It may just be the scariest thing you do as a band. If it’s not up to par and lacking greatly in production, vocals, and lyrical content, you may just find yourself looking back on it with humiliation and embarrassment—much like our emo or scene high school pictures. Unfortunately, in this day and age, old material gets around.
So has Essex punk rock newcomers Brave Vultures hit the nail on the head with their debut EP, I’m Not Coming Back If You’re Not Here, or have they released something that they will attempt to bury (and NEVER play live) for years to come? Let’s find out.
Opening track ‘This Is Where I Wanna Be’ is where punk meets alt-rock. And like any good punk song, it’s only 2 and a half minutes long, which means there is no time to ease the listener into its energetic punk chaos. Straight in, raw vocals and punchy riffs are on full display in the catchy, ’90s-sounding tune (possibly a little Green Day-ish?).
The first 30 seconds of ‘If You Run’ is enough to make you love it instantly. The moody, emo-fuelled song is elevated by its intricate and captivating instrumental work (which sounds very ’80s at one point! We dig it). Elsewhere, emo-pop ballad ‘Safe Ground’ is all about an understated melody and clear vocals.
‘With Me’ is a stand-out track on the EP. The song starts off strong and keeps the momentum going. The full, poignant track is almost overwhelming (in a good way) with its layered, contrasting vocals and soft, melodious riffs. ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ is another favourite – possibly the favourite. Its very 90s punk rock/pop punk infused sound is definitely something that can be taken out of a teenage road trip movie. The optimistic tune has that wonderful pop punk sense of teen urgency (and angst) and is definitely the catchiest one of them all. It’s stuck in your head before you even know the words!
Verdict? Brave Vultures don’t need to worry about burying this EP in a dark, password-protected folder on their laptop, because they have nothing to be embarrassed about. I’m Not Coming Back If You’re Not Here is a solid collection of tunes that are guaranteed to get people talking about this band.
I’m Not Coming Back If You’re Not Here by Brave Vultures is released on 16th September via self-release.