The EP starts with with “Dirty Weekend“, in which a Ska-ish intro soon gives way to something a bit more rock, in a sort of Spinal Tap way. The singer wants a dirty weekend with you. “Leave your bikini, you won’t be needing that” because we’re going to have “…a bottle or two and screw”. It’s an odd, slightly bolted together construction of a song. It’s all over in just over three minutes, which is interesting, given that there aren’t any metaphors in the actual song.
“Shivers” is about being in a band, watching other bands and working hard on your band and your stuff. Its 80s Goth vibe gives way to a rock guitar solo and then it suddenly goes Indie Pop and then back again as the lyric bemoans the lack of real rock in a dwindling music scene.
“Grow Up” is a more jaunty affair that manages to achieve quite a lot in the space of a minute and forty two seconds. It’s got a straw trilby on and it’s popped up to that Camden for craft ale with the Kooks, hoping to catch a glance of Peter Doherty as it expounds on the virtues of not growing up as you get older. I agree with the sentiment, because I’m 104 and because this is my favourite track on the EP.
The final track “I Still Don’t know Your Name” could have done with a capo on the second fret for the singer’s sake, but the acoustic, bass and vibrato lead guitars work at the beginning and end of the song, and the middle section is a genuinely interesting departure with some tastefully underdone lead guitar.
Smalltown Missfits sound like a band that hasn’t been together all that long, and whose members’ tastes and styles are diverse. It’s either this diversity or the desire to appeal to as broad an audience as possible within those parameters that makes it a bit of a stylistic Frankenstein’s monster in places, and it tries too hard. Apart from that it’s OK, except for the horrible misogynistic lyrics. Have a wank, for fuck’s sake.