March 26 2021 (Blitzcat Records)
Words: Steve Willcox
Already championed by esteemed radio presenters Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens, South London teen street-punks Play Dead are bracing themselves for the imminent release of their debut EP, 'Skint'.
Produced by The Vibrators former bassist Pat Collier, the three-man outfit are barely out of school uniforms, but streetwise and full of passion enough to cook up trouble and deliver the goods that strike a reality chord with today's Generation Z.
Opener, the slacker anthem ‘Hide', has elements of Libertines guitars with a Fontaines D.C vocal delivery, but full of social angst from frontman Joe Blair, as he declares that “Don’t wanna go / I don’t wanna hide / don’t wanna live / I don’t wanna die”. It sets the tone for the following four tracks.
The 70 seconds of the EP's title cut starts at full pelt with Blair's driving guitar licks with a no fuck attitude about his current monetary problems, against the relentless drumbeats of Louis Englefield, while this year's earlier single, the short, sharp ‘Shaun’, with its nod to their bassist Ollie Clarke's nan’s boyfriend who apparently loved a scrap, pints and a bit of Coldplay, is an instant classic with its wry lyrics and catchy melodies.
‘Brockwell Park’ is about a summer day in the local park, consumption of cheap booze, fags and anything else to soften the boredom, while escoriating guitars and drums provide the frenetic backing to spat-out vocals, before closer ‘The Drip’ - with Clarke's heady bassline steaming throughout - ensues with a social commentary of drug use while trying to entertain themselves through getting high.
'Skint' makes for a really efficient treat for a first extended play, and with lockdown just lifting in the UK, it’ll soon be gig season again and time to see if these lads can tear a new asshole into the blossoming punk scene. Let’s ave it!