As I begin to type this review, it’s an absolutely gorgeous Sunday; the sun is out, the temperatures are in their late teens and (not to jinx it, of course) spring, seemingly, has finally sprung – it’s fitting, then, that Personal Best are the perfect compliment to such an atmosphere. The Bristolian trio are a DIY supergroup of sorts, boasting members of Attack! Vipers! and Caves among their number. This four-tracker is an all too brief introduction to the band; anyone seduced by the fuzzy melodies of Pity Sex or the sweet harmonies of Joanna Gruesome will adore this debut effort. As soon as the emphatic chords of ‘Don’t Let Them Touch You’ chime and Katie Gatt’s gorgeous honeyed vocal comes into play, one is instantly hooked in as it envelops you in an ocean of sound, the worlds of indie, shoegaze and grunge intertwining flawlessly.
‘Conkers’ is an opportunity for the constituent parts of the band to display a little of their punk rock brawn, boasting an insistent, nagging riff throughout and a fizzing drumline from Lou Hanman. While there isn’t a weak track to be found here per se, ‘The Tide’ is the song that stands out least, but still contains some great vocal interplay from the aforementioned Gatt and Hanman. However, finale ‘Ice Cream’ saves one of the (Personal) best until last, bringing their 90s indie influences to the fore with a rambunctious blast of wonky power-pop.
While the punkier elements of this don’t place it worlds away from their “day jobs”, this will make waves amongst the musical communties this band inhabit, and deservedly so. If we’re set for more weekends as glorious as this in the near future, you couldn’t ask for a better record to greet it with – a fantastic initiative EP that will leave you desperate for more. All my principles are attempting to resist the temptation to coin a phrase from a godforsaken multinational corporation, but I’m “Lovin’” this (bada ba ba ba).
‘The Lovin’’ EP by Personal Best is released on 24th March on Specialist Subject Records.
Words by Ollie Connors (@olliexcore)