The Arteries / OK Pilot / Brothers / Bangers - Brits Abroad [7 Inch] (Cover Artwork)

The Arteries / OK Pilot / Brothers / Bangers

Brits Abroad [7 Inch] (2009)

Specialist Subject

At this year's Fest 8, more UK bands graced the bill than ever before. This is not because in previous years there has been a drought in bands capable of making the trip, but rather because earlier this year Tony of No Idea visited the UK with Virgins, scouting an array of bands along the way.

In preparation for The Fest, four of those bands -- the Arteries, OK Pilot, Brothers, and Bangers -- got together to put out a ‘Brits Abroad'-themed 7" along with some brilliant artwork from Calvinball's Joseph William; and the results certainly make a strong case for the quality of punk rock being churned out of cities UK-wide in 2009.

Each band's contribution is worthy of praise, beginning with the infallible Arteries' "Nail Scale," a song which, even though it was rush-recorded in a few hours due to pressing deadlines, is a blistering testament to a band currently on fire -- the solo was written in the van on route to the studio and band had never even heard Miles' vocals until he was in the booth. It's a little rough around the edges, but it's still a blinder that documents some ripping guitar work, as is rapidly becoming a trademark of the band.

If OK Pilot have a trademark, it's that they wear their influences on their sleeve -- "Years to Come" sounds like Glass & Ashes covering Hot Water Music -- but they're good at what they do. You'd never tell they were from a small city in the southwest of England as opposed to Gainesville; it's Orgcore for Englishmen.

Brothers, on the other hand, are a relatively new band, and offer up a refreshing blast of punk rock that actually sounds like it's from the UK. Their contribution "Maths Is My Middle Name" is perhaps even the standout track, reminiscent of early Bronx but with a distinct British twang (just imagine if Frank Carter replaced Matt Caughthran and you're in the ballpark). These guys (and girl) are definitely ones to watch.

Bangers wrap things up with "Most Wanted Men," a cracking piece of melodic pop-punk not a million miles away from the likes of Milloy, Grabass Charlestons or Banner Pilot; in essence, it's just quality punk rock -- as is every song on this release.

Vital listening -- if you haven't got it, get it now.

[Specialist Subject Records are giving this away for free for a very limited time, grab it while you can here]