Wolves of Suburbia (label)
10 December 2012 (released)
18 November 2012
Punk music has been transformed in the 35 years since it ripped through the British music scene and right through British society. No longer do so-called punk bands have any kind of political or moral agenda. Indeed the wave of nu-punk from America in the late nineties and early noughties was less about anger and more about childish pranks and jokes about dog crap (stand up Blink 182).
The sound of the bands has also transformed – with the pop shine you now get with the likes of punk’s biggest band Green Day for example. And they even had a Broadway musical for goodness sake – you can’t get any less punk than that! While most of the nu-punk came from the States, the likes of You Me At Six have opened up the possibility that British bands can do it as well, if not better.
So step up to the plate London’s The Apostates, formed in 2006 and consisting of vocalist and guitarist Adam Stone, bassist Steve Reynolds and drummer Mike Saminaden. The band have been slowly building up their profile with more than 400 live shows, as well as a session for the Radio 1 Punk Show. By calling themselves Apostates, perhaps they are trying to remove themselves from any connection with musical genres, but you need more than a name to do that.
Their debut album was produced at Middle Farm Studios by James Bragg and Pete Miles and falls firmly in the You Me At Six category. Perhaps it would be unfair to say they are jumping on the bandwagon, as there is hardly a wagon full of bands doing this. They also sound genuine about how they want to sound and are trying to avoid sounding in any way manufactured.
However the likes of Fire Blanket and Junkie In Me are power pop songs by numbers – with frantic guitar and fraught vocal over a pacey drumbeat. Better are the likes of Acrylic Friends, which soars away from the moment the first chord is hammered. Sixteen displays some subtlety (at least for 20 seconds) while One Ear To The Wall is a pleasant acoustic variation, which slows things down later on. It is punk, but not as we knew it.