Toronto based Rock band Return For Refund have established themselves rightly with the release of their self titled debut EP. Consisting of Drew Clementino (vocals and guitar), Sasha Molotkow (guitar and backing vocals) and Karl’s Hawkins (drums and backing vocals), the trio keep the heavy rock genre alive in an industry which is overrun by more popular styles. Formed in 2013 after lead singer Drew left the army after seven years, taking a guitar with him where ever possible and he found himself writing all the time. Auditioning for many different bands but not finding the right fit, Drew auditioned for a cover band where he meet lead guitarist Sasha and instantly felt musical chemistry between them.
Taking some inspiration from bands such as: Black Sabbath, Nirvana and Soundgarden, each band member brings something unique forward. Frontman Drew Clementino, lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player for the band, picked up the guitar at 12 years young and began writing straight away. “It was always about developing my own sound and playing in a band. That’s how I learned. I made a very conscious effort when I was learning not to focus on learning other peoples’ music”.
Lead guitarist, Sasha Molotkow brings technical ability to each song with fast and precise guitar riffs, adding to the metal aspect of the band, while drummer Karlis Hawkins takes inspiration from his love of Funk and Reggae genres, and constructs strong and complex beats to complement his band mates. The mix of Funk, Reggae, Punk and Heavy Metal is a combination that may not sound like they would go together but that’s what makes Return For Refund such a unique and brilliant band.
The debut self-titled EP from the band is a project that they have obviously worked hard on to be able to get themselves heard within the industry. Recorded at Phase One Studios in Toronto, Canada, produced by their own Drew Clementine, with recording and mixing by Michael Jack and Mastered at Wreckhouse Mastering, all of these musicians have worked hard together to create a 6-track EP worthy of note.
First track “The Fields” is the perfect opener to the EP, a fast paced, guitar driven track with optimum power behind each instrument. Including lyrics such as “always scared to live my dreams” and “had enough of asking way“, it takes home the message of staying true to yourself and setting a goal to reach no matter how hard it may be. Track two, “TV Light” continues to enlighten the musical talent of all members. Featuring the catchy parallel guitar riffs driving the song along and technical double bass strokes from Drummer Karlis.
“Between My Sheets“, the third track on the EP, is the piece of work where lead singer Drew displays the wide range of his vocal ability, with back up from following guitar parts. Telling the story of a fuzzy drunken night, which many people can relate too. Next track “Yolo”, takes its name from the recent popular phrase “You Only Live Once” shortened to Yolo. Perhaps taking the mick out of some of the people that would use the word too often or too seriously, because we all should know that we do in fact only have one life and should make the most of it when we can.
The last two songs to wrap up the composition are “Some Is Better Than None” and “Those Bombs“, and they bring out the subtle introduction to their influences from the Funk genre. Especially in the bass, which is quite low in the mix but throws out the odd technical riff. Overall for a debut project, it can’t get any better, but I’m sure Return For Refund can challenge that when they release future music. With such a great mix of influences and styles from each talented band member mixed in to create a unique and bold sound from the trio, we hope to see them going far with their career. Return For Refund is out now and available for download here.
Words by Jenny Woollett