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Album Review: Apart From This - 'In Gloom'

27 May 2013 | 2:05 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Catchy, melodic emotional punk rock from Melbourne.

Apart From This are a Melbourne band that have been kicking around for a few years now, releasing two EPs in their time together. Most recently, the four-piece channel a forceful, melodic hardcore edge with catchy pop-punk sensibilities to create an impressive debut full-length album with 'In Gloom'.

Opening title track 'In Gloom' is a slow burner, but feels immediately engaging, introducing listeners to the sort of melancholic tone of the record. From there, 'Boltcutter' and 'Too Quick to Judge' dive headfirst into the guts of things. Dynamic, energetic punk rock aesthetics serve as a sublime backdrop to the band's emotionally charged lyrics - delivered with a demanding presence by frontman Tim Maxwell.

For the most part, 'In Gloom' keeps a pretty coherent overall scope; it doesn't feel repetitious or samey, but there's definitely a sense that there's semblance of formula to the 12 songs that comprise the album. Hooky guitar work, infectious choruses (see: 'History of Bad News', 'Small Town Syndrome') , frequent transitions between fast-paced, frantic rock segments to quiet, somber parts and an overriding thematic conflict between hopefulness and desperate, frustrated angst are among the key elements that make up the band's sound on 'In Gloom'.

That said, it'd be lazy to simply throw Apart From This in with the crop of international bands that have delved into the emotional punk rock category – Title Fight, Basement et al. While obvious comparisons exist, something feels uniquely Australian about the way Apart From This carry themselves on 'In Gloom'. The youthful nature of the band pervades the album, and this sense of personality and character are what set the band apart from a sea of similar acts.

Apart From This aren't exactly treading into uncharted sonic territory with 'In Gloom' and it's not the most unique record in the world, but there's something to be said for its earnest, straightforward approach to emotional, melodic punk rock and the sheer fact that the band are as tight, and plainly, good at what they do. An impressive debut album for the band.

1. In Gloom
2. Boltcutter
3. Too Quick to Judge
4. Chronic Youth
5. Haunt
6. History of Bad News
7. Laid in the Light
8. Once Bitten, Twice Shy
9. Small Town Syndrome
10. Pabulum
11. Concealed
12. Earth Arms