Bitter Self Exploitment

Young Southampton Punk upstarts release debut EP of four catchy numbers that show a maturity beyond their tender years. This fine collection of 4 songs opens with the quite excellent “Lanky Jeff”. A chunky bass-led intro gives way to a storytelling vocal (one assumes) about a local ‘face’/pub regular etc. Ben’s cymbal-led drumming is bettered only by Jordan’s clear audible vocal and humorous lyrics – replete with that good old fashioned Punk staple, swearing! And if Lanky Jeff does exist, I’m sure he endorses this song. The ending gives me the impression it was knocked out in one take in the studio, and herein lies the beauty of this opener – honest in its simplicity and demo form. A great start.

“Big Guinness Man” stays in the storytelling ballpark. Nat’s chunky guitar intro is the precursor to more lyrical honouring of yet another character of their homeland. The local pisshead maybe? We all know one! Lyrically it’s socially aware, delivered with an honesty that would suggest someone “close to home”. The humorous la,la,la,na,na,na’s form the bridge right through to its conclusion.

Bitter Self Exploitment

“Sick to Death of Being Sick to Death” is heavier and harder still. Post/Punk guitars matched to 1st wave Punk drumming complement a faster paced vocal and latterly some scratchy guitar playing. The slow/fast formula in the bridge shows another dimension to their output but the song itself is one of despair, most notably in the angry delivery of Jordan’s vocal.

“The Ballad of Rob Thomas” is more expansive still. Fast-paced both musically and lyrically it is almost apologetic. Again those scratchy chords are present on this EP closer. I’m reminded musically of The Threats in the latter stages, but one could sight many a 3rd wave influence here.

Bitter Self Exploitment

Where Bitter Self Exploitment stand out from the crowd is their sense of pure fun. They favour anger over anarchy, their lyrics are honest and their songs display a talent way beyond their years. I first witnessed them on a bill headlined by none other than Wonk Unit, another band that put the fun back into Punk. I knew then they had something that set them apart from the crowd, so much so I needed to witness them again in different surroundings. Were they a one trick pony? Thankfully not. BSE, Bitter Self Exploitment, have the lyrical imagination of Wonk Unit, Test Tubes and DBD to name 3 and the live energy of Symposium. Surely it can’t be long until an appearance at Rebellion is secured – I give it 2 years. If like me you like your Punk with a fun element then checkout BSE in a venue near you soon. I just hope EP number 2 has the song about “sprouts” on it! Oh and lastly guys, don’t ever change your name!

Bitter Self Exploitment

Lanky Jeff
Big Guinness Man
Sick to Death of Being Sick to Death
The Ballad of Rob Thomas

Band Members
Jordan Knight – Vocals
Nat Darby-Hoskin – Guitar
Jack Hargreaves – Bass
Ben Ford – Drums


Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace