It’s no secret that there are a lot of bands knocking about that Austeros sound like. The earthy, indie-flecked punk sound isn’t exactly the market looking for fresh new talent anymore, but this trio are amongst the new stream that has trickled through.
But even if we’re not in dire need for another band like this, ‘Painted Blue’ sees the band doing a good job. It feels a lot lighter than the majority of their peers, with the likes of ‘Superpowers’ and ‘Fraction Of Time’ propped up by much sharper, more staccato riffs. And even though they’re a bit more playful, they still prove they can be rousing on the thunderous stomp of ‘Sorry Sight’.
The main ace in the band’s arsenal comes with vocalist Jeremy Pitcher. Even with its more streamlined nature, the actual music can often sound a touch familiar, but the vocals offer a real quirkiness and playful sensibility that’s refreshingly flamboyant, even verging on slightly camp at some points (well, as camp as an indie-punk band can be).
But even with all this in mind, it can’t be avoided just how reminiscent Austeros are of scores of other bands. ‘Painted Blue’ can feel like it’s being played safe at some point – it’s almost entirely mid-paced, and doesn’t tend to stray out of its set groove at all. A bit more experimentation wouldn’t have gone amiss, or just something to let this band stand out from the crowd.
But at the end of the day, Austeros are talented and likeable enough to be offered a pass for now. There’s nothing earth-shatteringly amazing on this album, but ‘Painted Blue’ is a solid representation of a genre that it’s massively enjoyable for the most part. And in that respect, Austeros can be pleased that they’ve at least managed to nail that.
‘Painted Blue’ by Austeros is out now on Specialist Subject Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)