So, Poole’s finest are back with album number three. With the ink still fresh from signing with ‘Time and Matter’ recordings, the band unleash the brilliant “A Good Hill To Die On”. Twelve Punk Rock tracks, filled with statements and ambition.

“Chaos Theory” opens this collection in familiar fashion with a driven sound laced with fuzzy guitars and a snare-driven beat. One for the live arena with its anthemic choruses that will no doubt encourage the singalongs. A snarly vocal is delivered in that direct, in-yer-face manner on this stellar opener.

“I Savage” employs a noodly intro alongside intricate drum patters and a vocal that comes at you like a freight train. More anthemic, multi-vocal choruses – I expected nothing less!

“Drink Up Boys” harks back to their Dropkicks-influenced period yet remains personal, working on so many levels. Celebratory to the core it has that unmistakeable swashbuckling style that allows itself to veer from their more obvious Punk leanings.

“Drop Too Much” musically has echoes of UK Subs while Ross’s vocals take centre stage, before the noodles once more show themselves. Staying in the personal arena the song is delivered vocally with spite and bile and one is left in no doubt that he means it (maaan)! The noodling at intervals is a fresh theme for The Mistakes, but why have one bridge when you can have two?!

“Heathens” has quickly become a staple of live shows and a set highlight. Rasping guitar lines, intricate drum patterns and layered vocals that go off on twists and turns – Squidboy (drums) owns the bridge while the anthemic woah’s take the song to its conclusion.

“Hack The World” opens with a superb clicky drumbeat, matched once more to fuzzy guitars. The vocals take an angrier vibe but interestingly the bridge keeps one guessing? It’s “chimey” which shouldn’t work, but just does! This whole double-bridge idea appears to be working…

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Rule number one with song edits – keep ’em short!! On title track “A Good Hill To Die On”, war themed songs was not a subject matter I was expecting to hear – but hey, when in Rome… Written with the current climate of War and pulling no punches, it employs the slow/fast formula to great effect. Lyrically on point while musically clear and defined, brooding bass-lines match big guitar lines. The last verse avoids the obvious wordplay and it’s a song that once in your head you just can’t shift.

“Standard Definition” is a fast-paced return to form. With its chugging beat throughout it is bettered only by a vocal that ranges from fast to anthemic (and back). The mid-song bridge only fuels one’s thirst for Ross’s socially aware rant. It just builds and builds with a clever nod to label mates and heroes UK Subs. How they manage to fit this much lyricism into a 3.5 min song is a testament to how far as a band they have come.

On “Kev” the intro doffs its cap heavily to the Cockney Rejects classic East End, before telling the story of one Kev Noyes – super fan and all round top geezer, a stalwart of many a Mistakes gig. Nothing more to say other than an ode to a guy who religiously follows his favourite local band.

“Another Day” is a proper Punk song. Big, big sound musically with honest, heartfelt lyrics – fast in its delivery but the lyrics while anthemic are more than decipherable. The noodly bridge squeals and swirls but keeps with the overall pace of the song. The “da, da, da, de, da’s” keep it fun despite the song’s themes.

“Hindsight And Alcohol” remains in the personal ballpark – yes we’ve all been there with Hindsight and Alcohol. A cautionary tale or an observation of one moving on. Powerful drumming, urgent guitars and dare I suggest a mid-song Ska detour, complete with a Rap edit from Ross. A whirring noodly bridge sticks around until the song’s ending which doesn’t disappoint. The story telling is abundant right until the end and leaves a bittersweet taste.

“Runnin’ Out Of Riot” has terrific chords in the intro that evolve into chimes. Then the song just explodes into this ferocious Riot Song. Clever wordplay once more as Rebellion Festival (past and present) is immortalised in song. Lyrically the evolution of man, all wrapped up in Mistakes Punky Goodness! The chime-led bridge takes the song to its conclusion which I feel is just another element to their new found song structuring – the perfect album closer.

I am truly running out of superlatives for this band. Ambition has never been a problem within, and they have the material to back it up. I still remember to this day Shane thrusting a demo album of early songs at a Tim V-fronted Sham 69 gig into my palm in the hope of me playing them (I was then the DJ @ Tripp Late n Live Christchurch, doing the warm-up set).

Little did I know or envisage how far that band would go, bearing in mind this was 2007!! Success doesn’t always come overnight. This quintet, despite line-up changes along the way have endured through the years, soldiered on (excuse the pun) and are now reaping the rewards. While others are content to entertain “one man and a dog”, The Mistakes continue to grow their fan base, and on this evidence their trajectory can only be an upwards one.

Track Listing
Chaos Theory
I Savage
Drink Up Boys
Drop Too Much
Hack The World
A Good Hill To Die On
Standard Definition
Another Day
Hindsight And Alcohol
Runnin’ Out Of Riot


Review by Ross A. Ferrone
Picture by Matt Rayner

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