Every goddamn year this happens. ‘Top Ten Season’ comes around, I sweat my ass of figuring out which of these gems I dove my face into like the golden muff in the sky, and seconds later another diamond in the rough finds its way into my ears like a parasite. Said parasite today is continuing the recent trend of keeping the existence of spectacular late-stage emo and post-punk with a little Toronto-based love (of fucking course) for Service Delay. As I write this hastily and realize all of these things together, I can only giggle and tip my imaginary hat to such a clever little combination.
Service delay bring a kind of groovy angst that has always and will always speak to my sad drunk heart. We’ll get into what these ‘416’ cats are missing momentarily but what they bring in spades in painfully attractive song structure, incredibly well placed releases of angst, and sing along quality to cry to your mommy and daddy about. Think of the groove of The Flatliners, the utter morosity of Brand New, and the pure structural oddity that is La Dispute coming together in a spectacular jizz sock of addictively nostalgic and enthralling post punk. There, ya got Service Delay and their EP Splash in what can only be described as a crunchy nutshell.
Splash is three fucking songs soaking wet but somehow brings the compositional weight of a whole album. Though I want more, I’m not begging for it. That all being said, for all of its beauties, there isn’t the next My Chemical Romance here. Where writing wise, this should absolutely be the golden standard for pop punk, post punk, or even late stage emo bands should aspire for, there are some studio and executional short comings here that can’t be ignored. Guitar tones from front to back could absolutely bring more warmth to the masses and should stand at the front of priority. Where the drum section is displayed magnificently skill wise, the programming and tone work here also definitely feels boxy and slightly lacking in high end or a bit of sharpness if you will. Last but not least, there’s no questioning that although the vocal section is intensely diverse and captivating, there is a culpable amount of notes and sections of these songs that are sung a bit too flat to escape. Where it’s angsty and full throttle sadness, it’s absolutely fucking spectacular, but where a standalone voice is found, things could be brighter.
At the end of all this, I can say confidently that this short lived yet still meaty EP would not have ended up on the top ten, but without any shadow of doubt, these ‘sadbois’ had me sold at “Shores.” If you dudes are reading this, come show me what you got in a live room so I can dump my wallet out on your t-shirts.
Written by Jason
*edited by Danielle Kenedy