ep review ~ the couth ~ 'burnout'


For fans of: Royal Blood, Twin Atlantic, Circa Waves

It's been a while since Lisburn's premier garage-rock band The Couth last unleashed a wave of their chaotic, ramshackle pop, but after a hiatus spent crafting new songs and a new sound, they're back this Summer with their latest EP, 'BURNOUT'.

Everything from frontman David McCrum's passionate delivery, to bassist and brother Matthew's Mac De Marco-esque lackadaisical charm marked The Couth out early on as one of the countries most exciting indie-secrets. Buoyed by the euphoric sound of runaway single 'Cycles', they followed it up with 'Casual Sex At The Omniplex', which offered more slices of highly addictive surf-pop, perfectly capturing a heatwave summer on record.

Fast forward a year and they've ripped up the rule book, the heart pounding 'Bloodbreaker' EP and it's follow up 'Friday Night Fever' showing a new harder-edged side to the band...and it's here we reacquaint ourselves with the quartet, no longer the new kids on the block, but one of the most established bands in the scene.

Opening with the heart pounding 'Coming After' shows the direction of this record straight away. A Clash-esque bass line kicks to life a punk song littered with screeching guitars and an aggressive streak we've not seen before. We're also treated to a Royal Blood inspired breakdown and, as it's a Couth record, a chorus designed to be blasted at full volume, getting more and more anthemic with each listen.

New single 'Fire' races out of the traps with a Black Keys swagger, frontman Dave McCrum's lackadaisical vocal dancing over thunderous drum and bass. It all makes way for another huge chorus, which see's bassist and younger brother Matt McCrum joining in for a venomous, bombastic finish. What 'Fire' really does though, is act is show The Couth are a band always willing to adapt, constantly evolving; and whilst it would be easy to churn out a 'Casual Sex At The Omniplex Part ii', Dave McCrum's conviction to write exactly how he's feeling remains integral to the band's appeal.

A perfect example is epic closer 'My Head's Wrecked', a two finger salute to the pressures of the modern age, soundtracked by more rattling guitars and tribal drumming from Kyle Irwin. It's unexplored territory for The Couth, as Dave McCrum bares his soul for all to see.

"You know I used to be so carefree, but now everything gets on top of me, don't bother me today..."

You can tell from the first listen it's a massive live tune, catchy verses and a runaway chorus, but it's heavier than we've heard before. It's FIDLAR meets 'First Impressions of Earth' era Strokes, gripping and fragile, as if this momentous noise could, in the best possible way, cave in on itself at any second.

Wrecked though their heads may be, The Couth have proven once again that they are at the forefront of the indie scene in Northern Ireland with this record.

'Burn Out' may just catch fire.

Taylor Johnson
Watch the official video for first single 'Fire' below:

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