Banquets known for their infectious jams and animated live shows are no more; ‘Spit At The Sun’ is the band’s final release, a bow on the band’s career.
From the album opener ‘Forecaster’ to closer ‘I’ve Got A Scheme’, this is classic Banquets. Mixing Hot Rod Circuit with The Loved Ones in one very neatly polished package. Not straying too far from the 10-track formula evident on their debut full-length, 2011’s ‘Top Button, Bottom Shelf’ and their self-titled follow-up in 2013.
Formulaic, regrettably, is the theme throughout this record. The overall feel and sound is essentially polished pop punk by numbers, the edgy lyrical themes and song structures evidence on the band’s last two full-length outputs just is not evidence here. Put another way, if this were the band’s first release, Banquets would have unlikely pressed on to forge the strong career that they ultimately had.
Not a single track is bad by any means, just on the whole, it is a bland record without the stand-out moments Banquets were known for. It’s a huge shame and not the record you would want this band to go out on.
That being said there are strong moments. Specifically ‘Hell Hello’ shows glimpses of the old Banquets, with an instantly catchy chorus and intricate melodies. To a lesser extent ‘Oblivion’ and ‘No Rome’ show that same potential.
In short: perhaps this final record would have been best served as an EP.
‘Spit At The Sun’ by Banquets is out now on Black Numbers.
Words by Mark Bussey (@MarkBussey)