Epic Problem - Lines [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Epic Problem

Lines [7-inch] (2014)

Longshot/Rebel Sounds/Rebellio

In 2013, Epic Problem released one of my favourite EP's of the year with their six track 10" "All Broken" and here they return in the early days of 2014 to offer up a contender for this year's list with four tracks on a 7" format. In order to provide a quick recap for the uninitiated, and those with a penchant for punk history, Epic Problem contains one Neil McLennan aka Mackie from the 1980's punk and Oi! band Blitz but this new venture is a long way from being a step back in time.

The songs are built around a couple of strong guitars, a solid rhythm section and some gritty and gruff vocals which all come together in a highly effective manner. I'm still given cause to provide give Off With Their Heads as an immediate comparison to give you some idea of where Epic Problems stands musically, but that's more a case of them being in the same ballpark as opposed to be on the exact same page.

As with the last record, there is a progression to be heard in terms of all round quality, with a much thicker and clean sound coming through the speakers as well as the songs being a bit more varied. Although It's hard for me to directly compare these four tracks to those on "All Broken" as that was such a strong release there is no doubt from my first couple of listens to these newer tracks that the band have been able to keep the momentum going in respect of their song writing.

Three of the four songs are new but there is also an excellent cover version of "Weak" by The Beltones, and I feel that they've added much more of a punch to the song than the original had as well as displaying some Ramones influences in the vocal melody in the verses. Of the new songs, there is nothing to choose between them all – they are all delivered with a forceful, yet melodic approach and it's evident that the band have really found their feet now and are capable of keeping the momentum going with some really strong material. The lead track "Lines" is perhaps the finest example of what Epic Problem are capable of and it certainly hits the mark for me, with some great guitar work throughout and a sense of passion about what is being done and sung about. Also worthy of note would be the Misfits like ‘woahs' on the track "Sink" which fit in really well with another kick ass song.

A band not to be ignored.

Stream the release here.