Saturday, 20 June 2015

Review: Not On Tour - Bad Habits [2015]

   When it comes to punk in Israel, there are certain bands who have the talent, songs and potential to be an almost worldwide success. From the moment I discovered the music for video Silly Thoughts around 4 years ago when I moved to Israel, Not On Tour stole my heart. I have always had a soft spot for female fronted bands but Not On Tour go beyond just being a female fronted band. Along with Sima's strong vocal delivery, the rest of the band are able to play at breakneck speed and harmonise during their super short but catchy songs. They are certainly the most popular band in the more pop punk/skater/hardcore scene in Israel and have also made waves in Europe in the last few years. The band did a Europe and UK tour a couple of months back in light of the new album Bad Habits and the band are about to head out for another tour this summer. Hopefully, the good word has and will spread further. 

   Being a regular gig goer, I have seen the band a countless amount of times, both at packed shows and at shows a bit light on numbers. Along with classics from the self titled debut, the N.O.T On Tour Ep and second album All This Time, the guys have also played songs which feature on the new album, some of which have been in the live repertoire for quite some time. Album opener, Flip, is a track I think I recognise, although I could just be confused as it is similar in places to a previous track, I Wanna Be Like You (from All This Time). After more listens, the half tempo "This ship is sinking. Save yourself. There's nothing left to see here.." chorus really gets stuck in your head. 4th track, Write It Down, I definitely know from shows. As is common of Not On Tour, the song is short (although at 1:32, it's nowhere near the shortest on the album) and catchy, with its chorus that suggests repeatedly that we'd better..well...write it down. It is one of their songs which is at a nice enough tempo to be able to really appreciate the song fully as well as dance to.
   I have heard Gut Feeling (track 2) before as they are meant to be bringing out a video for it soon. At 1:19, it is still not the shortest on the album. While listening, I tend to often expect (and hope) that the song goes on for longer. It also has one of those choruses that can easily get stuck in your head, which has sort of been Not On Tour's specialty over the years and there's a fair bit of it here. In Rumours (track 3), they have us singing "This can be over when we say the word..", especially the anthemic singalong part right at the end. Without checking the name of the track, I have been singing one of the songs as "Cos it's a different kind of weapon...Cos it's a different kind of reign." Turns out the song is called Different Kind Of Weather (track 6). Ooops! Close, though.
    In Stuck In A Rut (track 10), you'll be sympathising with how front woman Sima "Never got things done" and was "Stuck in a rut" but has since "Found a way out." I can relate to this song's concept of having once been lost in life and putting things off but am I completely on track now? Hmm. I don't know. I think I am more akin to seeing myself as "Failing to succeed", as sung in Failing (track 15).

   Not On Tour essentially play hardcore punk but the addition of Sima's melodic (although still raw and aggressive) vocals and the band's backing harmonies give their music that pop punk quality. Most songs, with the aid of Gutzy's awesome drumming, are super fast, such as thrashiest song No Communication (track 11) and title track Bad Habits (track 9), but there are still those which go along the more pop punk vein, such as Black Coffee (track 7) and Sick Of This Mess (track 8). The 16 songs on here range between 0:42 (Waiting In Line, track 14, possibly my favourite on the album) to 1:44 mins long (Sick Of This Mess), so you can hear the entire album in one short bus journey. It kind of leaves me wanting more but also wanting a little more diversity. The band have songs in their early repertoire which are more chaotic, have breakdowns and generally show the band's versatility. Bad Habits could do with a lot more variety, in my opinion, but it is certainly not a disappointment.

No comments:

Post a Comment