For Fans Of
What do you get when you put The Front Bottoms, Basement’s I Wish I Could Stay Here and Nirvana’s Insecticide together into one EP? Nothing like Donovan Wolfington’s new EP Scary Stories You Tell In The Dark but still probably as close to it as you’re going to get. Melodically vexing, jarringly sporadic and viscerally emphatic, Donovan Wolfington seem to know a thing or two about how to go about making a kick ass EP. The four-piece were aiming to make a ‘bangers’ EP that came of sounding cohesive, but still insane, and that’s exactly what Scary Stories You Tell In The Dark offers.
‘It is very likely that in one of these moments, you are going to die’ begins ‘Sleeping,’ the first track on Scary Stories You Tell In The Dark. Creepy vibes aside (although admittedly, Scary Stories is a whole lot of creepy), Donovon Wolfington don’t waste any time launching into a full-bodied sound that is almost uncomfortably bizarre.
Songs like ‘Quitting’ and ‘Keef Ripper’ provoke some comparisons to energetic punk group The Front Bottoms, but while both seem to bounce off the walls in musical terms, Wolfington possess a level of disgruntled defeatism that keeps the two from being blood relations.
Building on a lot of hazy, foggy reverb and melodramatic instrumentals, the vocals on tracks like ‘Keef Ripper’ get lost in the cacophony of haphazard noises that Wolfington favours. This murky assortment of hazy noise could be disorienting for some, especially when lyrics like ‘you take yourself so serious/ and you hate yourself so much’ are in danger of being lost in it all. Sure, Scary Stories can be repellant and jarring at times, but that’s half the charm.
‘Alone’ is where the various emo associations stop and the Nirvana comparisons come in. The girl and guy vocals in ‘Hey Alex’ are both equally as droning as each other, compete for airtime over the surface of grimy melodies that treat them roughly, and the delightful despondency of lyrics like ‘in my dreams there is a picture of you and me happy again.’
The rebellious and volatile nature of Scary Stories… works only as well as Donovan Wolfington can pull them off. And, as if it is even a question, they do. The tracks ‘fuck you’ to stickler rules and pretty genre boundaries proves to be their best driver, and, like they’re daring you right them off as ‘too out-there,’ Scary Stories will not be what you expected, but will also be exactly what you wanted.
4. Keef Ripper
5. Hey Alex