Epic Problem - All Broken [10-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Epic Problem

All Broken [10-inch] (2013)


Following a solid debut self-titled 7-inch, Epic Problem is back with an even more impressive release. Whereas before this New Mills (Greater Manchester, UK)-based outfit had produced a great three-track single, this new six-song release definitely moves things forward on all fronts. A lot of that progression comes from the production quality but the band has achieved a more well-rounded and effective sound.

With the first single predominantly bringing to mind Leatherfaceand Off With Their Heads, this 10-inch adds some Jawbreaker, a hint of Oi! and a chunk of SoCal-style punk rock to the sound, thus allowing for quite an interesting and far from one dimensional listen. Additionally, there's no sense of this being a band producing a tired rehash of days gone by, despite it being of the more mature variety. In fact, although it's not a unique sound, the members of Epic Problem should be applauded for producing a record that gives a fresh take on a sometimes tired genre. Despite there being some American comparisons in respect to the sound, it's also an undeniable British backbone that underlies this record. This is evidenced through the guitar which constantly brings to mind Doctor Bison.

The debut single kicked off with the strongest track, "Battles," but on this record, it's the last, and title-track on side one that stands out from the rest as being the ‘hit.' It's almost instantaneously recognisable as such when listening to the record as it seems to leap out more than the other tracks. Flipping the vinyl over finds "Free Ground" being the slightly more prominent track and is also the last song on that side.

That's not say that the remaining four tracks are sub-standard as they're clearly not, with "Reverse Negative" and "Have It All" being the better of that quartet. However, each adds its own positive mark to the record, helping create a strong release that should not be ignored if you like robust, melodic punk rock.

Epic Problem is a raucous and hugely tuneful beast of a band. The album comes across as something that has evolved as opposed to being overly thought out. As always, it's good to hear a band that reminds you that not all of the best punk derives from our American cousins across the Atlantic.