EP REVIEW: layover – Your Laughter Never Leaves
Birmingham has been the birthplace of some of the greatest and well respected artists that the world has ever known. From the author J.R Tolkien, who brought us the one of the most beloved collection of stories committed to paper with Lord Of The Rings, to the creators of heavy metal music Black Sabbath, and other musical acts such as Duran Duran and UB40 to name but a few.
One of the latest additions of promising musical acts looking to make it out of Brum and into the big, wide world is Layover. The boys have been creating emotionally poignant, energetic slabs of punk rock since their inception, and are now aiming to prove that they have a wealth of ideas and song writing talent with the debut EP Your Laughter Never Leaves.
The EP opens with Hunger Pains, which very quickly displays what Layover are about: the guitar of Dominic Cattell and vocals of frontman Luke Rainsford paving the way into a straight up, pop punk track complete with punchy guitar riffs, accompanying bass lines from Elliot Wallett and driving punk drum beats from stickman Brad Fisher. The overall pace is high and brings a great level of energy to proceedings, with the melody soaring over the top of the distortion brilliantly. This is the kind of music that will have kids scrambling over the top of each other and grabbing the microphone when it gets a real outing on one of the band’s upcoming tours. This is the perfect way of introducing the band to the audience: the emo is dialled back a little and the energy is dialled way up, to grab as much attention as possible.
The second track on the EP Coffee And Fluoxetine slows the pace down slightly and gives Cattell a chance to show off his penchant for writing introspective, yet relatable and understandable words, before shifting the gears and picking up speed with some impressive drum work. The lyrics on this song tackle the issue of mental health (Fluoxetine being a well-known antidepressant medication) with lines such as “Do you remember when we both discussed the way my head makes me, I see the bad in everything” suggesting how he felt like a burden towards the people he loves, giving real weight to the fact that Layover are in fact an Emo band. The style of the song still sits firmly in the realms of pop punk, but the heavy nature of the lyrical theme adds a fantastic contradiction to the overall sound of the track.
The song Slumber is a revelation. The style of the song would not be out of place on an album by fellow countrymen Moose Blood or Boston Manor with its slow, reverbed guitar riffs and sorrowful sounding vocal lines. The song then builds with a very full sounding, thumping bassline and distorted guitars, accompanying an emotionally fuelled vocal delivery once again from Cattell (who sounds fairly similar to Trashboat vocalist Tobi Duncan in this instance). This track is a perfect indication of the incredibly high levels of songwriting that this band are capable of at this very early stage of their career. The frequent changes in pace and musical direction throughout this song keeps things fresh, and manages to tie together seamlessly, flowing brilliantly. The overall style sounds similar to something that you would hear on one of the later albums by The Wonder Years, and the melodies and lyrics here are easily comparable to those composed by their ringleader Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell – which is in no way, shape or form a negative thing at all!
EP closer and title track Your Laughter Never Leaves is the perfect way to end. The call and response style between the guitars and vocals will resonate with crowds and provides the perfect showcase for the vocal ability of Cattell. The song has a chorus that will stick in your head like that pop song that you don’t want your friends to know you like, and the instrumental parts behind the vocal lines are as water tight as the rest of the record.
Our gripe with the aforementioned song, however, as it is with a majority of the songs on the release, is the duration. On more than one occasion during the running time of Your Laughter Never Leaves the song ends all to abruptly, and this can only be seen as a disappointment. It gives us less time to truly appreciate the high standard of song that we are listening to, and as a new band attempting to pedal their wares it seems like a strange way to go about things. However, with that moan out of the way it has to be said that overall this EP is a relative success and it feels as though Layover are destined to do very well in the music world. Now to look forward to their debut full length release.
Standout Tracks: Coffee And Fluoxetine
For Fans Of: Moose Blood, Neck Deep, The Story So Far
Written by: Richard Webb