When it comes to Bristol based five-piece Tuskens I feel like I’m a little late off the starting blocks. I mean this in terms of the fact that I’ve been aware of them for a while but have neglected to give them any attention until now. Following the release of new EP, ‘Hung Up On Everything’, I’m kicking myself for this lack of attention, as it seems to have spoken to that inner emo kid in me. Here’s what I made of ‘Hung Up On Everything’…
Yes okay, it’s a pop-punk band doing a pop-punk EP – BUT I feel like it’s more gritty than that – dipping into a heavier realm and leaning into the emo scene. That’s why it feels familiar, it’s a glorious throwback to my teenage years where I spent my life reading Kerrang and trying to convince my mum to let me dye my hair black (she wouldn’t let me). Being true to the pop-punk genre though, it’s musically upbeat and bouncy in waves of energy.
Stand out tracks for me include EP opener- ‘Bokeh.’ This track dripping with everything pop-punk, but it’s carrying that grit too – a little reminiscent of what the likes of Boston Manor are doing at the moment. The track varies in its urgency, pulling back to quieter moments before layering up the sound to pack quite a punch. The vocals are passionate but also feel a little bit reserved coming off a little bit too clean in places. ‘Night Glow’ begins powerfully with beautiful yet raw guitars leading you into the track. The vocals, again, pay homage to their pop-punk influences and now feel like they have a bit more emotion behind them. This track is bouncy and melodically it’s very catchy – you can’t help but move along to it. The power increases through the track, acting as a showcase for what Tuskens are all about. I feel like this is a staple track for them that would appeal to a wider audience. And who doesn’t love a bit of gang-vocals to wrap it up nicely? ‘Seismic,’ follows, and it’s immediately got you hooked. It displays raw passion and emotion behind the track, allowing the vocals to take the lead. The pace alters, keeping you engaged and hinting at the power that this track would hold live.
Overall I really enjoyed this EP and I’m certainly going to try to catch these guys live in the future!