Music Reviews

EP REVIEW: Staff Party – Dread

We all know that the seaside city of Brighton and Hove as a hotbed for the creatives, and once again it has spawned a group that are more than deserving of your attention. Since their formation, Staff Party have made a point of blending all of the finer points of the 90s alternative rock and grunge acts with their own contemporary take on heavy music. Up until now, the group have released a handful of singles, but now in 2023 the band have penned their first proper release in Dread.

The extended play opens with the visceral Ego Death. The song shows exactly what Staff Party are all about. Heavily distorted, high gain guitars scythe their way through the earth-shaking bass and booming drums, in a way that is as jarring as it is wholly satisfying. The vocals from guitarist/vocalist Ed Lamb blur the lines between noise rock and hardcore, drenched in anger and sprinkled with the kind of melody that could see the band receiving some significant airplay, despite the aggression and heaviness on display.

The following track Dread has a much more rock vibe, with an off-kilter groove and much more melodic vocals on display. The bass tone laid down by Chazz Welfare for this entire EP deserves a chefs kiss with it’s dirty, distorted sound. The way that it has been mixed by producer Paul ‘Win’ Winstanley means that it gets heard in the way that it should, linking up perfectly with the drums, creating the foundation for the guitars to propel from and it is no more evident that on this song.

The closing track of the EP, Leech, mirrors the two tracks that preceded it with its dirty take on modern rock. It comes as no surprise that Staff Party have had their sound compared to the likes of The Melvins in the past, with their sludgey tones and approach to vocal melodies. However, despite comparisons being drawn, it’s hard to pin down exactly who the band resemble, as they have worked so hard to create their own unique sound from the get-go.

As the final chords of the EP ring out you can’t help but feel a tremendous sense of confliction. Yes, this release is fun, it’s aggressive and infectiously catchy. But it is short. Annoyingly so, in fact. To the point where it almost feels a little unfinished. However if that it the only flaw to be found in a release, then surely that means that the music that has been laid out before you is of such a standard that you are left wanting for more?

If this is the sort of material that Staff Party are cooking up and this is simply the appetiser, then it will certainly be an intriguing listen when they decide to serve up the main course.


For Fans Of: Idles, Melvins, DITZ

Written by: Richard Webb

Tags : Staff Party
Richard Webb
A Kentish lad in his early thirties. I'm a journalist that loves anything grizzly and gruesome whether it's in music, film or art. My guitar and vinyl collections are amongst my prize possessions and my wardrobe is predominantly black.