The Mature Themes – No Less

8.5 / 10

Toronto garage punk trio The Mature Themes crawl up from the dusty basement with their five-song debut EP No Less. The cover features a faceless man cracking a monster truck tire with a sledgehammer; a bold representation of the music found within.

The EP kicks you in the face with “Go Getter,” a high-energy and catchy banger. It sets the template for the other four songs: simple four-chord structures, with lots of feedback and fuzz coming from Ben Cranston’s guitar. Add in the pounding drums of Cody Fitzgerald, and it creates a dynamic similar to one of my current favourite garage acts, Heart Attack Kids.

Cranston’s vocals are drenched in reverb making for the famed Elvis slap back echo effect. During instrumental segments, Cranston hoots and howls under the guitars, creating a sound similar to Joe Strummer’s howling at the end of the Clash classic “London Calling.”

Each song clocks in between two to two-and-a-half minutes, with the exception of “Cherry Cola,” two seconds shy of a minute. Cranston hollers “I got my cherry cola!” over and over to the point of his voice cracking.

The closer “Faith Healer,” Jesse Gutzman comes in with a cool crunchy bass intro, before Fitzgerald kicks in and Cranston stomps on his flanger pedal. The song pulses and shakes with each effect.

Within ten minutes, it’s all over. When reviewing music for Bucketlist, I usually listen to an album two or three times (or only once if it’s really awful). But I’ve probably listened to No Less more times than I can count on one hand. And I wouldn’t really mind listening to it several more times. It gets me pumped up, and I noticed something new on every listen. I would love to get my hands on a tape of this EP. It would fit nicely into my small collection.

Written by Chris Aitkens
*edited by Danielle Kenedy

About Chris Aitkens 18 Articles
Chris Aitkens has been writing about music since the tender age of 16, getting his start writing reviews for Vermont-based zine Verbicide. More than a decade later, he has dedicated his life music. Having graduated from Concordia’s journalism program, he is now working graveyard shifts as a board operator at Virgin Radio, CJAD 800, and occasionally, CHOM. He also hosts his own radio show on CJLO 1690AM called Sewer Spewer, a weekly guide to Montreal’s punk and extreme metal scene. In the little free time that he has, Chris sings in a shitty punk band called Gutser, and from time to time, writes about horror movies for Nightmare On Film Street. None of these ventures have made Chris wealthy at all. In fact, he’s more broke than ever. But it’s all worth the sacrifice to live a life filled with art.

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