EP REVIEW: "PLAYBURST" - Playburst
Playburst serves as an interesting playground for indie musicians from across the guitar-driven spectrum - from scabrous punk to power pop to hardcore - as they come together to form a cohesive musical unit. As an EP though, it's just too easy to breeze through.
GENRE: EMO / MATHCORE / INDIE ROCK / MELODIC HARDCORE
Playburst falls in to the really bloated contemporary definition of supergroup, where every artists from different projects working together warrants some kind of super status. There are some really standout musicians & composers here though, with Ridzuan on guitars, Afiq on bass, Tiong on drums and Aidil on vocals (each of them currently or previously worked with a myriad of bands such as Couple, Jalan Sehala, Crack Guilty, The Fridays and more), so the "supergroup" label works. In a previous review of their single "Waste of Time", I mentioned that it's exciting to see power pop sensibilities mashed with math rock arrangements. With the full EP, (casette version to be released under Utarid Tapes on June 23 2019) you get to experience more blatant melodic hardcore influences too. There are moments in this EP that are noteworthy. The breakdown in "Waste of Time" as the drums kind of throttles in while Aidil sings “I just want to be with you” is a cool listen. “Waste of Time” grew on me in the context of the EP as a primer for what's to come. The way the track simmers down at the end is beautiful too ("What's on your mind"). The choral chants on "Big Mouth" ("Say hi to the big mouth") is punch-in-the-air satisfying and the harmonies and "oohs" on the second leg of this song is great, especially Aidil punctuating the verses with "Whatcha gonna do" . It's the most well-rounded cut on the EP. Most of "What's Wrong With Love" and "Be Strong" are easily forgettable to me in the realm of all the mathcore that bands like Chinese Football or even Milo Dinosaur are making nowadays. Tracks like "What's Wrong With Love" are charming & sweet, and definitely stands as a decent addition to all of this warm, motivational "heart-core" that's popping up , but lacks signifiers that leave much impact. "Be Strong" is the slightly better one between the two mostly due to the anthemic, refrain of "It's never wrong to make things better" and the brighter riffs. Overall, Playburst boasts some capable musicians with potentially intriguing overlap in composition. They've yet to really show all of that though. Here's hoping the EP is a teaser to something bigger and better before the band members disperse to go back to their respective projects. Listen to "PLAYBURST":
RATING: 3 / 5