HOMER - Loved Loss
Belgian punk rock band Homer just turned eighteen this year. Back in the early days their vocalist founded Funtime Records to have an outlet to release his bandís first record, and since then his label has become one of the most renowned Belgian punk labels. The last few years Funtime only released a couple of albums, but in the end quality matters more than quantity.
Itís been three years since the last Homer album The Politics Of Make Believe, so maybe the six song EP Loved Loss seems like not very much, yet again it must be said that the quartet has really topped itself with their new record. Hindsight gives the band wisdom, and this time itís obvious that Homer wants to be more than just punk rock or hardcore. Instead there is a strong hint of rockíníroll, and occasionally even stranger things happen.
The opener Thereís More To Life Than This is a hard rocking punk rock song with lots of catchy melodies. There is a shadow of Refused permeating the overall sound, but Homer are experienced enough to pull off their own thing. The following Push The Button is slightly heavier but once again trumps with unforgettable vocal melodies. Singer Johan may look like a bearded wild man, but he can sing cleanly just as well as scream. Indifference adds even more aggression, tipping the balance towards the hardcore side, and while this is a good track, itís still the least good one on the EP.
Itís the second half that truly pays off. Drown The Sorrow is another hardcore / melodic punk hybrid, not unlike the first two songs on the EP, and all three of them take their charm from their concise approach that takes no prisoners. The six minute long title track is quite unusual for a punk band. Itís obvious that the guys have come up with many different parts to make this quite the dramatic piece of music. At times there are even psychedelic moments that reminded me of The Cult. Coincident or not, it is a great rock song. The concluding Death Is A Threat sees the band in a very unusual ultraviolent way. Normally this wouldnít work so well, but this stranger little track comes with such strange guitar chords that it feels like Voivod playing a hardcore song. Unexpected but a great conclusion to an otherwise also excellent EP.
Homer have shown that despite having an adult age of eighteen years now, they still sound fresh, and possibly even better and more focused than in the past. I am looking forward to their next eighteen years of hard hitting melodic punk rock.