Halifax Punk Supergroup Cluttered Don't Waste a Second on 'Accidents' EP

Halifax Punk Supergroup Cluttered Don't Waste a Second on 'Accidents' EP
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In this age of deluxe editions, extended albums and endless Spotify remixes, it's refreshing to blast through something short and precise. Sure, those re-released re-releases have some gems hidden amongst the deep cuts and alternate takes, but largely you're playing the role of prospector, sifting through mud for a hint of gold. Halifax's Cluttered go against this grain — their newest EP, Accidents, doesn't waste a second.

The band came together in 2020, releasing an EP for that year's DEMO FEST. That self-titled introduction demonstrated a cohesion that shines through an inherent roughness. Now, for the follow-up, Cluttered have rounded out their lineup and cleaned up the splintered edges expected on a demo, exceeding the potential shown on their debut.

Accidents' four songs may only span 10 minutes, but that quickly becomes half-an-hour as you're almost guaranteed to play it on repeat. The band are tight and laser-focused, knowing exactly the sound they want and effortlessly creating it. It's the EP of a band who have been rocking their way through Halifax's impressively productive punk scene for a decade, and are now reaping the rewards of their experiences. The band's core members — Matty Grace (Future Girls, Weekend Dads), Becca Dalley (Designosaur) and Dylan Mombourquette (Jabber, Crunchcoat) — read like a who's who of the scene. From Designosaur's angular riffs to Weekend Dad's relentless beat, you can hear a sonic résumé's worth of influence weaved through every track.

Yet, the result is still fresh. With pounding drums, a distortion that could peel paint off the walls and Grace's trademark snarl, Accidents is a blistering new take on classic sounds of the Ergs! and Jawbreaker. It sits solidly in punk's grey area: too catchy to be hardcore but too heavy to be pop-punk. It's an area Grace and company have thrived in for years, and the comfort level shows.

Perhaps the most exciting moment comes with the final song, "The Toll." With a mid-tempo beginning that eventually explodes into an anthem, an earworm of a melody and relatable lyrics, it has all the ingredients of a great punk song, elevated further by the punk chops of guest star Cassia Hardy of Edmonton's Wares.

Cluttered have done something easy in theory but difficult to pull off: make a punk record that honours its influences but sounds new. Accidents' four songs shine like 24-karat gold. (Bloated Kat)