The Summervilles are a three piece power-pop punk rock band from Melbourne, Australia. Forming in late 2010 and releasing an EP in 2011, the group has spent the last year and a half writing songs together to put on their new album, Twelve Ways To Fuck Up Before Breakfast. They recorded, mixed and mastered the album entirely by themselves.
Although creating the record independently, it is the self-recording that unfortunately limits the effectiveness of this album. The levels are unequal within tracks, losing vocal definition and making the music murky in tone. The Summervilles show great energy, intent and commitment and must surely be so much better live. The sound quality here is reminiscent of the recordings we enthusiastically make on our phones at gigs which, when played back, sound tinny, that fizzing impact lost and we wonder why we bothered to record it.
Listening through the record, there are echoes of The Buzzcocks, The Clash even Tenpole Tudor particularly in Once More Without Feeling – a more anthemic standout track where the audience can enjoy singing along with the chorus, “Oh so empty now/Wo oh oh/Wo oh oh”. This includes some interesting backing vocals sadly heard only faintly.
I’ll Be Gone has a nice structure which is more identifiable compared to the other tracks which are in danger of merging into a similar sound. Moving Under also tries something different, a quirky guitar riff with the vocals really making an impact with admirable singalong lyrics like, “I was never the type to walk you late at night/Moving under stormy skies/Now I will be the man who will always hold your hand/Moving under stormy skies”.
A couple of tracks are more pared down and have a nice contrast. It would be good to hear a less strained vocal where lyrics are more thoughtful as in the track, I Will Hold It True. The emotions would get better exposure if the vocals dropped down and this song in particular could be very effective.
The Summervilles will be much loved by existing fans and hopefully others will join them through the live experience because the album alone – due to the recording quality – may not recruit many more.
Currently only available online, the album will be getting a physical release independently in late 2013 in 12″ vinyl format.
By Kate Dexter