EP Review: The Overbites – Mince

The Overbites – Mince E.P. – RELEASED 9TH FEBRUARY 2019 

Every now and then, you see a band at a small gig or festival on the bill and the name jumps out at you straight away. An “overbite”, when something overlaps, usually teeth but I found this to be quite poignant when I discovered The Overbites were formed from a band I had previously enjoyed on a few occasions live and even had a recording of theirs I’d picked up at a gig. The overlap between bands did have a similar feel but from the early promise of the original band, there’s a definite feel of progression with what has now become The Overbites. 

Having seen The Overbites live and had the benefit of hearing all of the tracks before this EP was recorded, I had looked forward to hearing the first studio offering from these local lads. My only apprehension was, could they capture their live performances without losing any of their dynamic.

The E.P. starts frantically just like their gigs do. A 42 second blast of “I Could Never Stop” which leads straight into “TV”. The teenage angst and frantic outcry from the start of this EP is followed up by an acerbic and apathetic opinion of “TV” and how Football,MTV and the News, get the ultimate abrupt turn off from the orator of the story. The sharp lyrics are perfectly matched by the crunchy but clean cut guitars which has a flavour of the best of US punk. The twin guitars are perfectly balanced and fluent solo work is easily distinguishable throughout the songs. The running bass lines and tight drumming results in something that feels greater than the individual parts.

The title track, which immediately endears any Scots person listening, is called “Mince” . This is a very well used term for a number subjects. The song has a, “day in the life” story to it. “Now my head has turned to mince…..” is the ultimate message of the song as what starts off as a rough day, gets worse! 

The next track “Misled” a clever play on words, as the story of a femme fatale and unrequited love have the perfect back drop of a picked guitar/country song which crashes into something resembling the Clash’s Tommy gun with the snare drum rolls accenting the break. You could say, it’s a stand out track from the EP but that’s doing the other songs a dis-justice. Either way, the clever country and western back drop is perfectly matched to the story.

“Time Was Up”, perhaps the most identifiable influence from the previous incarnation of an earlier band, and ironically, a song about how that band had it’s time. There’s nothing hidden in the message, it’s a timeline of the bands existence and of how all things come to an end. The back drop of ska/punk, with some incredible lead work towards the end of the song, make for a fitting epitaph for that now defunct band. If the only purpose for those formative musical connections was to produce this song, I’d say the years of pleasure and pain were worth it. The only slight downside of this studio version, it’s at a slightly slower tempo than when it’s played live, but still, it’s one of those songs you wished you’d written!

What could possibly be worse than having your band disintegrate and fall apart, those bonds you made musically, well, the emotional roller coaster carries on with the final track, “Separation”. A heart on your sleeve, baring all story, of two lovers/friends/family falling apart. The emotion in the guitar work is incredible. It’s a song we can all identify with as we’ve all been there at some point. The final few bars of the song give us some clue that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. As the final few notes play out, what a sublime way to end the EP. The heartbreak is somehow made bearable by the music itself.

This band are infectious. The EP is infectious, I feel like I’ve been on a journey of discovery listening to it. I have lived through the lyrics and felt the emotions through the music. We all might suffer with a “Heid Like Mince” from time to time, but there’s one thing for sure, this EP is definitely NOT MINCE!!!!