After a huge year and countless shows, crunch time has dawned on Melbourne quintet Loose End. As the band prepares to release their second EP, Overthinking Everything I Know, we were gifted a sneak peek into what the group had prepared for the world.
Ultimately a catchy and enjoyable EP, Loose End have presented six songs that bridge an enormity of genres. Intensity is chopped and changed, but the emotionally charged nature of the songs is ever present. Overthinking Everything I Know is sure to bring a plethora of new fans to the table. Loose End are Ben Smalley (vocals), Jackson Trudel (drums), Ben Schmidt (guitar), Jack Smith (bass), and Mitch Parry (guitar).
Beginning with “Cracks in the Curtains” the band’s pop-punk tendencies are placed immediately at the forefront. Channelling influences like scene up-and-comers Belmont, the release’s opening track interchanges fast-paced verse work and punchy choruses, becoming more infectious with every consecutive listen.
Recorded with Christopher Vernon (Belle Haven, Better Half), the EP’s second track “Hiding in Someone Else” seems to showcase his influence. Completely flipping the vibe of the previous track, the stringent bass lines and screamed vocals that preface the track caught me extremely unawares. Transitioning rapidly from riffy rock to heavy-hitting punk, it is catchy and heavy and will stay stuck in listeners’ ears.
Slowing down momentarily, “Doesn’t Matter” is a slow, sad, and hard-hitting ballad. Repetitive yet effective, the ever-present rainy weather metaphor is in full force. Lines like “Doesn’t matter about the weather, I never seem to get any better. Rainy days don’t seem to give in” hammer away as the emotive piece stands as a moment of brevity from the fast paced nature of the EP’s opening.
Dialling it back to where the five-piece seem most comfortable, “The Stress & The Envy” is purely all-purpose pop punk. Vibing early Neck Deep and The Story So Far, it borrows very heavily from scene heavyweights to create a simple yet appealing track. While it probably won’t be identified as a song that stands out for its individuality, it is undoubtedly the kind of song that will have punters nodding along and off their feet when hearing it live.
The EP’s penultimate track, “Identity”, is the most interesting song on the release. Hard to nail to a single genre, it comes across as a post-hardcore track, but even this definition fits it loosely. Reminding me of early-Memphis May Fire (think Challenger era), the song well and truly caught me off guard. Finding the time to include a small spoken-word segment reminiscent of Movements, the line “I am the only one who can set myself free”, precedes an unsurprising but enjoyable breakdown. It is chuggy and bewildering, but nevertheless enjoyable.
Ending on the EP’s first (and only at the point of writing) single, “Jordan Street” is the standout track. As it begins sounding like a math rock song, it soon explodes into an impassioned cocktail of gratifying pop-punk. It is an effective summation of the EP and a great note to end on. It has a true sense of identity along with a refined layer of polish that the rest of the release occasionally lacks.
All in all, Overthinking Everything I Know is an enjoyable listen and a strong effort for the up and comers. Whilst not ground-breaking, it does a large number of things well without being spectacular. For fans of bands like Four Year Strong, the EP channels the heavier elements of pop-punk while at times finding room to reflect post-hardcore influences like The Word Alive.
For everything it does well in spanning genre, this leads into the criticism that the EP can sound too busy, like the band have attempted to do too much in such a short run time. Not to diminish the effort to experiment, it is an erratic piece that attempts a number of things but does not entirely fulfill the goals it sets. The constant change of genre and vibe seems to weaken the sense of identity that flows through the release as it struggles to build any distinct feeling of personality. The musicianship is fantastic, however it seems to lack a consistent element that would tie the entire EP together.
Regardless of where it struggles, Overthinking Everything I Know is a nostalgic piece that embedded a warm feeling within me. It reminded me of the music I grew up on, and Loose End should be confident in what they’ve created for all those who listen. There is no doubt that there is a well of talent within this band and I have no doubts that this EP will be a stepping stone to greater things for the Melbournians.
Generated plenty of nostalgia for my teen years. Fast paced and boppy, overall an enjoyable listen. Intense and emotionally charged.
A bit too busy and lacks a consistent focus to tie it all in together. Can be occasionally unadventurous.