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Meet melodic punk rock quartet Watch Commander, a band that has a lot under their belt since forming a year and a half ago. With two EPs already to their name the quartet has wasted no time in heading back to the studio to record debut full length ‘Clock and Compass,’ a fun loving record that is full of infectious melodies. Having already shared a stage with some big names in the punk rock scene, Watch Commander have achieved more in a year and a half than most would achieve in a matter of years.
‘Clock and Compass’ makes Watch Commander the British Bayside, in particular Si Rutherford’s vocals resembling those of Anthony Raneri. This can also be said for the melodic guitars and, in fact, the overall sound of the record. This isn’t to say that Watch Commander are a double act by any means, although a British spin on the punk rock sounds that Bayside are known and loved for would perhaps have given the record a bit more of an edge.
‘Cheating Death’ opens the album, perhaps the most energetic track on the record and a great way to introduce the quartet’s talents. This is similar to mid album track ‘Stillwater’ another signature track on ‘Clock and Compass’ alongside ‘Turning the Page,’ both bursting with lively drum beats and dynamic guitars.
Just 49 seconds long, ‘Same Ghosts’ acts as a tranquil interlude, focusing on Rutherford’s vocals with softer guitar chords complimenting his peaceful sounds in this track. Other tracks including ‘Twenty-First’ similarly show the calmer side of Watch Commander in that they slow the pace down in the first verse but then welcome back the upbeat melodies that start off the track.
Watch Commander’s first full length is very admirable: after coming so far in such a short space of time and self-releasing ‘Clock and Compass,’ the quartet have definite guts and determination. It would have been nice to hear an album lengthier than 30 minutes but what they lack in quantity the band make up for in quality, producing 11 short but very commendable tracks.
'Clock And Compass' by Watch Commander is out now here.
Words by Hannah Gillicker (@HannahGillicker)