It’s been a bit of a tough time for Still Bust recently. Just before heading into the studio to record this EP, long time drummer Sam Piper left the band. For a band that have pretty much been a whole for ten years, that’s a tough pill to swallow. However, they carried on, got four tracks laid down and stepped up to the plate. The result is a fast, frenetic and compelling record, spitting out modern-life vitriol as far as the eye can see to a backing of mathy-as-fuck hardcore.
It took about ten years for Still Bust to record a proper album. A Few Things We Might Agree On (A Few Things We Might Not) was absolutely cracking – we reviewed it when it came out last year. However, it was a sprawling affair in places, distracted in others. It was also a lot more cut-and-dry punk rock. 77 For You (57 For Me) shows that Still Bust have learned from past endeavours and instead, they’re back as a lean, mean, guitar-thrashing machine. The production’s a lot slicker, Matty’s vocals are a lot more vicious, and there’s a lot of tasty breakdowns. For a four-track EP, there’s some beastly tracks, like record closer ‘Twenty Foot (Broken Foot)’ which clocks in at 6:19, finishing on a round of blast beats that Immortal might be proud of. No track is under three minutes, which is a far cry from the last record, but it works in Still Bust’s favour – no track is easily forgettable.
Opener ‘It’s Your Fault And You’re Stupid (Kind Regards Barbaros Icoglu)’ shows that they haven’t lost their penchant for ridiculous song titles. It’s also got one of my favourite ‘call and response’ vocal bits in any song ever, stupid time signatures and a misleading ending – you think it’s all over, but it comes right back in for another assault. ‘TV On After Breakfast (Would You Like Your Haircut Today)’ is a damning attack on social media, with a fantastic chorus and wicked half-time bits threaded throughout. ‘I’ve Never Been More Happy To Have A Hypo (However This Could Mean I Have Irreparable Knee Damage)’ has a lot more melody than the previous songs, but is just as technically proficient, with a rock and roll riff between the first and second verses that’ll make you want to punch the air victoriously (protip: don’t do this while driving. You will hit the roof of your car. It will hurt) with joy. ‘Twenty Foot (Broken Foot)’ is a great closer – Matty’s pained screams across a slow, echoing backing are utterly absorbing and wholly devastating. It’s a really powerful ending to an ultimately brilliant record.
So Still Bust have come out swinging, and they’ve done it splendidly. Hardcore record of the year from the Gloucestershire boys? It just might be so.
4.5 out of 5 high fives!