Reviews Debt Neglector Bad Faith EP

Debt Neglector

Bad Faith EP

Debt Neglector put this new digital EP into the world in late 2020, in part to help raise funds for Fair Fight before the Georgia runoff elections. It has five songs, ending on an Elvis Costello cover.

That intro is relevant because the songs on Bad Faith are highly political in nature, so it gives an added dimension. The EP also came into being from the recording sessions of the band’s upcoming LP that hasn’t been formally announced yet. These songs are leftovers from the recording, but they hold their ground well on Bad Faith. While they released it in response to the Senate election, it’s hitting me in extra powerful ways in the week following the insurrection. If you’re one of the people asking, “How could this happen?” then I recommend listening to this EP.

Generally speaking, I’d paint Debt Neglector as a melodic punk band with a strong skatepunk influence. The songs are compact and built around the chorus. The power lies in the melodic, memorable refrains while the punch comes from vocal inflection and ear-catching breakdowns that highlight those choruses, such as in “Sore Loser” and its refrain of “Being an asshole don’t make you a patriot” that I’ll probably be reciting as I read the news for a long time to come. Think of Good Riddance and old school Propagandhi with a surprising ear for pop that’s usually subtle but sometimes overt.

The first four songs share a consistent tone, but the last two show that “recommended if you like” comments only go so far. “Least I Could Do” is an acoustic and personal farewell, and then the record ends on a cover of Costello’s “Welcome To My Working Week” that’s true to the original: crisp and clean -- New Wave pop at its finest (with a bit more caffeine).

Bad Faith is a good teaser of Debt Neglector’s sound and a perhaps a preview of what’s to come. It’s angry, but there’s more than just vitriol. There are sensitive melodies, undertones of weary working-class experience, and enough pep for it to come across as potent and relevant instead of tired, cliché or trying too hard. It fits a neat genre label, but there’s enough nuance and subtly diverse influence to keep it fresh.

7.0 / 10Loren
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7.0 / 10

7.0 / 10

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