Austeros – Austeros (EP Review)

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All good things have to come to an end, and sadly that includes bands like Bristol’s Austeros, who have confirmed they are signing off with one more EP.

The eponymous three track offering continues their power pop punk legacy and develops the song writing and musical themes from previous releases. Over three tracks this little EP signs off with some of their best work to date, the production really works, with vocals sounding as strong as they have on anything to date.

‘Raindrops’ opens with a slacker pop guitar line which is followed by the bass line like they are holding hands, the drum backing is subtle and effective and gives a really warm well rounded sound to the musicianship. Vocally there is a delicate balance between the fragile start and building towards strength within the chorus, which is of course based around a wonderful hook. Lyrically this song runs the gauntlet between positivity and negativity and the focus is almost certainly subjective. Ending on a clean vocal full of strength leaves the song firmly in the positive column.

Track two, ‘Cherished’, starts with a vocal that takes a grunge tone and adds a really positive spin to it, this leads into an incredibly motivating chorus; ‘I’ve got this, I am worthy of being happy,’ which once more has a wonderful hook. Austeros have a real talent for writing near-perfect choruses and this may be the best to date. Musically guitars jangle throughout as bass and drums bring the rhythm with almost mechanic accuracy, but it is the keys and building backing vocal that take this from good to great. If there is a song that you should be putting on your summer playlists this is it, it radiates sunshine and positive vibes.

Final track ‘Eyelids’ sees Austeros sign off with a reflection on the world they/we live in. There is a real sense of finality to the song. The guitar and bass chug into the beginning before releasing the angular guitar and rolling bass of old, the drums slowly build into the driving factor behind as vocals combine fragility with crescendo. As the gang vocals kick in the emotion really cements itself only to be taken away with clever word play. The chorus of ‘is this all we’ve got’ is counteracted with a simple ‘I don’t think so’. Cue the musical break down and a lingering final note.

There is something incredibly special about the combination of lyrics and musicianship within this band that creates positivity within even their darkest moments. This EP may be the best of a very strong list of releases, the clever finality in the track ordering almost sets up for a tear jerking final set list their final tour is already underway. It may all be very sudden but much like this EP Austeros are going out with a bang.

Austeros EP is out now, and available via Bandcamp.