Title: Delete History
Released: 3rd November 2014
Well, this is another punk rock EP. I mean, let's not beat around the bush here, Rise Against put out their first album in 2001 and Anti-Flag did the same way back in 1996. God knows neither of those bands invented a genre, but they were at least part of a kind of punk revival scene that gave rise to some excellent music, some seminal albums and some of the sweatiest gigs of all time. Delete History, the debut EP by Portsmouth punk merchants Misgivings, isn't just influenced by this period of punk revival, it is a grainy photo copy of it, repackaged for the millionth time and released for potential global indifference.
To be honest, my issue with this EP is that it just doesn't jump out at you. The song writing is passable but nothing special, the guitars are washed in a rather nondescript distortion that tends to loose definition in the overall noise and, after a fist full of listens, I can pick neither my favourite nor my least favourite song. I would like to reference some stand out moments, some notable performances or memorable lyrics, but sadly nothing really springs to mind. To be honest, it's just not very exciting.
There are two sides to every argument though, and I feel like putting this EP down for its lack of originality would be missing the point a bit. I suspect that Misgivings are a band that shouldn't be entirely judged until they have been seen live. Their press release tells of their formation in a Hamburg squat, of beer fuelled gigs at toilet venues and of hangover-laden touring, and I'm prepared to bet that some of those shows were great fun to be at. The DIY nature of the recording (with its simplistic production and home-grown/honest sound) hints unsubtly at how Misgivings might come across live, which I'm sure was the intention. The vocals may not be great, but they are gravelly, boisterous and belted out with unquestionable resolve, and whilst this band might not be pushing the envelope musically they do sound tight. Moreover, for a début release it is at least fairly impressive to have a well realised sound spread across six songs and twenty-one minutes. There may not be any flashes of genius yet, but it is all perfectly listenable. There is unquestionably potential here, albeit in amongst the rather over hashed punk rock aggression.