EP REVIEW: Fake Boyfriend – Mercy

 

RELEASE OF THE WEEK

Looking at the tags on  Fake Boyfriend’s bandcamp will tell you all you need to know about them before diving right into this punk rock rich release: existential crises, heartbreakers, heartbroken, and philly sad girls.

On Mercy, their first EP, it’s clear that they’ve hit all these tags quite well, most of all on the track Bumtown that decides to spend the first half of its running time to be tranquil and retrospective before breaking into a whirlwind in the latter half. “I need to learn how to be told ‘no,’” is screamed in unison by the band, reaching blisteringly loud volume levels with heartbroken aggression that overshadow the chugging guitars. It’s no surprise when you realise this was recorded alongside Jake Ewald, better known as the guitarist from equally heartbroken, sad romantics Modern Baseball.

It doesn’t mean that this is a girl band who are destined to sing solely about ex lovers though. In fact, at the Mercy EP release they stated that opening track Ship was about “the self-blame, shame, and confusion that comes after being sexually harassed… Despite what the fucking journalists say”, proving the band have something worth saying, or rather shouting about.

There are moments of calm on this release and they come on the appropriately smooth track Wax, a spellbinding and contemplative listen that serves as a reminder to the listener that they can easily transfer from finger licking good rock to sweet and humble pop and back again with ease.

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Abi Reimold said that Fake Boyfriend’s music is a “retaliation against the preconceived notions of how women are supposed to behave and process emotions.” This is a fairly accurate statement as the tracks on offer here sound more like the band would rather use a spoon to knock you out than to stereotypically scoop some ice cream with it.

Alongside the fact that each member took up a different instrument than they were used to, something that could have easily become a gimmick but instead adds to the beautiful clunkiness of this EP, Fake Boyfriend seem to be drawing more of a comparison to Pussy Riot than the likes of Haim.

A band worth keeping an eye on.

9/10

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