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Album Review: Settle For Less - Greetings

I wonder sometimes if bands truly consider their moniker when they release a new album or EP. Surely you don’t want to make a critics job an easier by feeding them a readymade pun?

Well I certainly won’t be ‘settling for less’ when I listen to Settle For Less’ latest EP “Greetings”. BOOM. See what I did there? Moving away from terrible punning and into some reviewing, Settle For Less have released a surprisingly accomplished 4-track EP here. I’m actually slightly blown away by how much I like this release. From the frantic opening of “Brandywoods” I was hooked, but that hasn’t meant that it hasn’t managed to grow on me. Having grown accustomed to the strained, Blake Schwartzenbach-esque vocals, and learnt the typical, but not clichéd, lyrics, I can now happily sit and belt them out while I listen to this again and again.

The bands signature sound exists in the first three tracks of the EP, with the fourth song being the slightly slower, acoustic tinged number that so often closes albums of this type. While I’m trying not to slip into hyperbole here, I would just like to state that I doubt that “Brandywoods”, “Bridesburg”, and “Alden Park” will be better as a 1-2-3 punch on any album this year. They effortlessly flow into each other, with “Bridesburg” seamlessly picking up where “Brandywoods” leaves off, and are just relentless tracks. Bursting with anger and fuelled by the propulsive drum work, it is just one of those releases where every song has a stand-out moment.

“Brandywoods” has its soaring outro, “Bridesburg” hits you with some gang vocal “Woah-ohs” which , while usually indicative of a band running out of lyrics, actually become a highlight, and “Alden Park” has the best guitar work on the EP. Even the album closer “Greetings”, which, while not on a par with the earlier tracks, contains a hook that you won’t be forgetting any time soon. It does seem like Settle For Less have borrowed from Transit’s songbook in creating their album closer but that can never be a bad thing can it?

This is an EP that benefits from a couple of key points. Firstly, it doesn’t just play music-by-numbers. In a genre not exactly full of innovation Settle For Less at least attempt to mix up their song structure and it really works for them. Secondly, the fact the vocals sound like they were recorded on about the 278th attempt just before their vocal chords gave up for good lend and impassioned tone to all of the songs. If you like you music with a frantic and raw edge then Settle For Less are probably for you.

Listening to “Greetings” is one of the better ways you can spend 11 minutes and 6 seconds of your life and I highly recommend you do.


'Greetings' by Settle For Less is available now on Either/Or Records.

Settle For Less on MySpace, Purevolume and Facebook.

Nick Robbins

Alter The Press!