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Gender Roles - 'Prang' Album Review


1. You Look Like Death 2. Always 3. Deep End 4. Hey With Two Whys 5. Ickie 6. If This Is Your War 7. Tip Of My Tongue 8. Schools Out 9. That's How You Want It To Be 10. Bubble

Brighton based 3 piece Gender Roles are set to release their debut album “Prang” on 30th August on the Big Scary Monsters label, following up from the 2017 “Planet X-Ray” and 2018 “Lazer Rush” EPs. The band is made up of Tom Bennett on guitar, Jared Tomkins on bass and Jordan Lilford on drums and they describe themselves as Indie Punk, although I think it’s wrong to put a label on Gender Roles. But enough of the Politically Correct puns, on with the review!

The album opens with “You Look Like Death” which actually has a Blur feel to the vocals (but don’t let that put you off)…it’s a spiky introduction and, coupled with “Hey With Two Whys” (the two tracks that the band are using to showcase the album on their FB page), sets the tone for the album perfectly; smart lyrics and great uncomplicated tunes. “Always” continues the theme nicely and “Deep End” sounds almost radio ready - it’s just a judicious bleep away from being there – it has the tune, the sing-a-long chorus and (if I can say it without sounding like an old fud) is just plain catchy.

And it gets better; if the first half of the album is full of promise, then the second half is where that promise is delivered in spades.

“If This Is Your War” starts with a daft wee sample, but is full of Punk energy which follows on in “Tip Of My Tongue” which has echoes of those great Punk singles of the late 70’s, filled with crashing drums and quirky guitar bits…it should be getting airplay somewhere because it really deserves to be heard, more so than Moody Capaldi in my opinion. “Schools Out” contains the utterly brilliant line ‘I am a vulture for your closeness’…or at least it sounds like it and if it’s not, then please don’t disabuse me of this belief ‘cos it raises a massive smile, while “That’s How You Want It To Be” is shouty and frenetic in all the right ways. I think my favourite, however, is closing track “Bubble” which opens with a really nice quirky guitar phrase backed nicely by a rolling bass riff, then the drums kick in double time and…well, it’s just rather brilliant to be honest, especially with the changes in tempo; it’s the kind of song that you just know will close a show perfectly.

This is a great album that grabs you in different ways all the way through but most importantly it makes you smile. They describe it as ‘hazy ear sounds for your mates’ and I can’t think of a better aspiration than that. The fact they’ve achieved it is just the icing on the cake.

Review - Chris Watson

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