Who Needs You - Who Needs You (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Who Needs You

Who Needs You (2011)


It's easy sometimes to say a band sounds like another band and use that as either praise or a stick to beat the band with. Who Needs You (is there a missing question mark here) start off with "American Screw" with some pretty solid pop-punk that, despite a less-than-clear bass sound, is quite enjoyable. This is the one song here that doesn't clearly sound like anyone particular, or not to my ears anyway.

However, with "Time to Kill" there is a significant influence that, whether it is intentional or not, cannot be ignored: early Green Day at a frantic pace. Not that I'm saying that as a put-down–I am a big fan of Green Day (do your best with your insults you "real" punks) and have been since the first album, so this is actually quite a positive comment. With "Cold Mornings, Early Warnings", this moves things forward with a more mid-period Green Day sound, and again, I'm enjoying this, so don't read this wrong.

The final track is the clincher in terms of the prime influence. With Green Day ordinarily ending their shows with "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", Who Needs You finish with a sedated song, although it still features a fuzzed guitar. The result is and comes across as sort of Billie Joe Armstrong meets Billy Bragg. It has that sense of finality that announces that the EP is at an end, and as with all decent EPs means that you don't have to wait long to play it again.

I don't have much information on this band other than finding that it's actually just one person, Anthony Elliot, and that he is influenced by Green Day, Elvis Costello and the Lawrence Arms. It's a decent effort, although maybe not something that will find favour with the masses in spite of having such lofty influences. What is ironic is that the one track that doesn't sound like Green Day (both musically and vocally), "American Screw", is the one track that stands out head and shoulders above the others, so perhaps Who Needs You need to focus away from Green Day and try to find a niche of their own? Still, I like this, so it's worth checking out if you are a fan of the (frequently) aforementioned kings of the world.