In this ever-changing, hate-laden, over-commercialised community we call 2016’s music industry, it is sometimes difficult to come across an album that has evidently been composed due to a sheer passion for making music. After one listen to Little Bribes’s new EP ’Obstacles’, I could instantly sense and appreciate the dedication and heartfelt emotions that went into creating these five tracks.
Opener ’Between Blood’ is an absolute masterpiece. A riff-loaded intro flows into a circulation of four lyrical fragments. These hard-hitting lyrics have a very personal story-telling element concerning an impaired relationship with a family member, most likely a parent. In which case, the circulation is highly effective both musically – the variety shows a strength in talent whilst culminating an ambience appropriate for their multi-genre approach – and metaphorically, as it conveys a sense of tiresome repetition and antagonism.
Cranking it up a notch with ’Deadname’, George Gadd’s accelerated vocals are used to channel angst and bitterness towards gender discrimination and the inability the feel comfortable in one’s own skin: “Don’t want to defrag my mind, I want to define my skin.” ’Living Room’ begins with a tamer, more melancholy texture before transitioning to transmit a similar sense of rage with some killer harmonies; it is very fitting of the DIY feel. ’Raggy Dolls’ is also a strong track that features some edgy reverb and diverse, intricate guitar parts.
Front-runner ’Cartography’ is fairly American Football-esque with impressively deep lyrics, ”You were drawing a map on a canvas of your skin.” Although the meaning could be inferred differently according to the listener, the metaphorical approach to the sensitive subject of self-harm works very well. Having a very strong one myself, I value the lucid presence of Gadd’s regional British accent in his vocals; it gives an authenticity to the substance and secures them a position in the list of up-and-comers of the UK alternative scene.
Little Bribes have managed to string together these five tracks to produce an EP of which they ought to be proud. The production may not be five-star quality but it simply adds to the DIY vibe; ’Obstacles’ has now proven that they have a vast musical capacity and a solid passion that cannot be taken for granted.
Obstacles’ EP by Little Bribes is released 8th April.
Words by Lucy Jones (@loo_say9)