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WPGM Recommends: Away Days – Away Days (EP Review)

away days
Previously part of the spectacular band known as Blitz Kids that split last year, three of the band members, Jono Yates, Matt Freer and Nic Montgomery, regrouped and once again banded together as a brand new band called Away Days.

Blitz Kids had been together for more than ten years, when the end finally reared its head. The split was, for most fans, an enormous surprise, especially after the massive success of their second studio album, The Good Youth, released only a year prior to the break up – it was an album that put the band on the map, but clearly things were not working as well behind the scenes. As a result, on the 3rd July, 2015, Blitz Kids announced they were calling it a day.

It wasn’t long after that, when Yates, Freer and Montgomery made another announcement that left their former fans elated: they had decided to start a new band, and were also planning to release their first ever EP as a trio – Away Days, the eponymous album of their career.

As it is, the EP Away Days was released on the 6th of May of this very year. It consists of four wonderful tracks: “Messiah”, “Through The Night”, “Give Me My Life Back” and “I Look Alright (But I’m Not)”. “Messiah”, as well as being the first song on the EP, was the first track premiered prior to the EP’s release. The band allowed fans to download it for free, giving everyone the opportunity to get a taste of what was to be expected in May.

The lyrics to all four songs follow a similar pattern to what we were used to from Blitz Kids: simple words that express despair in such a way that you can’t help but empathise. All of these are ways to describe the human condition. “Through The Night” advertises a failing relationship, something that becomes clear as soon as the song starts: “You’ve always had this tendency to rip my heart out of my chest”, and continues on with the chorus, “‘Cause we’re almost there but not quite, I’d be surprised if we made it through the night”.

Give Me My Life Back” is a song that best summarises the human condition, as mentioned above. It has a hint of desperation in both the lyrics and the music, as the narrator of the song repeatedly asks for his life back and it’s “killing me” to watch the subject of the song waste her life away.

The final song on the EP, “I Look Alright (But I’m Not)”, is the song most people listening to this EP would be likely to label as their favourite, and the one they chose to listen to more than the other tracks. It starts with the classic line of “I’ve spent the last six months going round in circles” and leads onto a chorus that describes the narrator as someone who puts on a mask and ‘pretends’ to be alright.

Away Days is an exceptional EP, and possibly one of the only good things to come out of Blitz Kids coming to an end. This is just a four track EP, but it has already become a crowd favourite among their former fans, as well as the wider rock music scene and music critics – there were clearly a lot of expectations attached to the release of this EP and the start of this new band, but it looks like the trio has managed to surpass all of them and successfully shot for the stars to land directly in the middle of them.

Away Days’ Away Days EP is out now via Speaking Tongues, and can be purchased here on iTunes.

Words by Qurat-ul-anne Sikander
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