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Album Review: Banquets - This Is Our Concern, Dude

As an avid Coen Brothers fan, seeing the title of Banquets debut release, 'This Is Our Concern, Dude', piqued my interest immediately. If you know film you get the reference, otherwise I recommend you see The Big Lebowski immediately after you check out this EP.

It’s incredibly rare to get me excited with a mere ten minutes of new tunes on a 7-inch. But in search of quality over quantity, the potential displayed by Banquets on this debut has me already waiting in line for a full-length. They play a type of melodic punk with more melody than most in the genre. Think of the most recent effort from Against Me! or if The Gaslight Anthem existed in a world void of Bruce Springsteen. Banquets takes punk and makes it about as upbeat and melodic as possible without conjuring up the label of pop-punk. Members of Banquets have put time in with Let Me Run, Static Radio NJ and The Banner. With a pedigree like that it’s no surprise this EP is as good as it is.

Lyndon B. Magic Johnson” gets things started with the heaviest punk influence found on the EP. Yet with that being said it never comes across as being what one would consciously call punk while listening. The vocals and melody make you think pop while the rhythm section articulates the punk influence to you. This combination just makes for something pleasing to all of the musical senses.

Eleanor, I Need a Garden” has a gang vocal chant that flows so suitably with the chorus that upon repeated listens finds its way in to your head and refuses to leave. The catchy hooks written by Banquets make them to be such an uplifting fun listen all the while not compromising their insight with keen lyrics.

What a Bunch of Aaron Burrs” is easily my favorite on the EP. The lyrics describe the hardships and ups and downs of everyone’s favorite topic of discussion via song: love. The words paint the picture with such grace and realism that can be relatable by anyone reminiscing on former flames. The winding guitars between the chanting in the pre-chorus shows Banquets and their sharp songwriting in their best light. The closer, “I Wish I Was a Little More Lou Diamond Phillips”, has a more straightforward structure with its melody and exhibits a slightly more somber feel than the previous tracks.

Sure, it may be a little hasty to fully back a band after only a short four track EP. I am typically the first person to be skeptical of a band with so little material to their name. But every song on 'This Is Our Concern, Dude' is solid and this is one of the best EPs I have heard this year. If you are a fan of the genre or just enjoy catchy songs you can both sing and feel along to, then I highly recommend this release.


'This Is Your Concern, Dude' by Banquets is available now on 7" vinyl through Black Numbers.

Banquets on MySpace

Andy Young

Alter The Press!