Halifax Punk Supergroup Cluttered Don't Waste a Second on 'Accidents' EP
Published Jun 04, 2021In 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)