Published on April 29th, 2016 | by Ben Adsett0
Austeros – Painted Blue
After self-releasing two EP’s on their label Don’t Ask, Austeros have moved onto possibly the greenest of new pastures in the shape of Specialist Subject. A label that have released some of the best releases in the ever-growing UK punk scene, with a roster consisting of Bangers, Great Cynics, Woahnows and Muncie Girls; Austeros are another incredible signing.
This first full length has picked up where the two EPs left off with continuing development both musically and lyrically. From start to finish this is a great example of a creative approach to the punk sound, the combination of pop, vintage indie and modern punk is sewn together with just the right amount of grit and fuzz.
Musically the indie pop backdrop creates wonderful catchy tunes within almost all of which are killer hooks and a chorus that will stick to your ears for days. But there is a hidden complexity within this LP, with the occasional angular guitar part cutting through the wonderful gloss, crashing drums or a bass line that could have fallen out of an early noughties punk-o-rama compilation all combine resulting in the release being pushed further away from a pigeon hole. These are the moments that make what is already a great release even greater, there is a fuzzy charm within the feedback and angular qualities which really makes this record flow.
Within the previous two EPs there was a clear pop-punk comparison, it was definitely mature pop punk but the general feeling was positivity. This release takes pensive lyrics which cover a whole range of emotion and delivers even the most emotive in a completely relatable form. It’s not a negative record with almost every emotive track there is a hidden message of positivity. This is a skill the band deserve a lot of credit for there are some wonderful turns of phrase about mental health, personal doubt and loss which are so honest they create a lyrical feeling of closeness between listeners and band. This very human emotional attachment is what makes the lyrics within this record so memorable and creates a debut that feels like the start to some thing great.
There is an almost jangly quality to the interaction between guitar and bass which combine with razor sharp accuracy throughout. This creates an early emo inspired quality which flows effortlessly in and out musically. This sound (to me) musically references American Football, Owen and Cap ‘n’ Jazz alongside Hot Club De Paris and other artists that have embraced the complex delivery of a Kinsella brothers.
Vocally this is the strongest example (to date) Austeros have recorded; there is an almost oxymoronic quality to the vocal delivery with the balance between fragile emotion and a stronger delivery. This quality adds emphasis to the most tender of lyrics and strength to the most uplifting of choruses. The vocals are the perfect spearhead to the musicianship on show and just continues to show how far Austeros have come in such a short release history.
Overall this is an incredibly strong debut and boasts a sound and lyrics which push varied influences into an unmistakable sound. Maybe, just maybe Austeros will be the band that put Cheltenham punks back on the map.