Filled with contagious, riff driven sounds and raw vocals, the six tracks on Return for Refund’s self-titled EP combines elements of hard rock, punk, metal, funk, and blues. The last two songs are also clearly tinged with a southern twang. That members Drew Clementino (vocals, guitar), Sasha Molotkow (guitar, backing vocals), and Karlis Hawkins (drums, backing vocals) drew inspiration from bands such as Black Sabbath, Nirvana, and Soundgarden shines through at various definite moments in Return for Refund. The Toronto rock trio’s EP has been well received by campus stations across Canada. Interestingly enough, the band comes off as much older than it actually is.
“The Fields” kicks off the EP with a great guitar-heavy intro and a bass guitar that leads the way throughout the track. It is an inspirational track that moves beyond superficial, sometimes cheesy lyrics that don’t do much in terms of encouragement. Instead, Return for Refund encourage listeners to “You’ve got to throw out all those pills that just numb away the pain” in their efforts to throw away the fear that keeps them from following their dreams. The following track, “TV Light”, confirms the band’s instrumental, lyrical, and vocal skills.
The band’s direction shifts a little with the addictive “Between The Sheets” featuring an attention-grabbing instrumental interlude near the middle of the track where the guitars are flirting dangerously so with the drums. I was a little afraid of a track titled “YOLO”, but thankfully the same attention to creating deep lyrics in “The Fields” was given to the lyrics in this song.
The EP closes with two tracks, “Some Is Better Than None” and “Those Bombs”, that give away the southern vibe that the band admits having. “Some Is Better Than None” oozes with attitude, largely because of the melody plucked on an electric guitar that carries it from beginning to end. One would expect a track titled “The Bombs” to be dark, raw, and emotional, but the band surprised us one last time with an up-tempo, almost cheerful view of war, providing quite a contrasting backdrop to the yet again thoughtful lyrics.
Combining strong instrumental skills and vocals well suited for this genre, it’s no wonder that Return for Refund has been so well received on college campus radios throughout Canada. More information about the band is available on their official website. Songs can be streamed on Bandcamp and the band’s video clips are available on their YouTube channel.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.
First published on Blogcritics.