Since the release of their ‘Scary Stories You Tell In The Dark’ EP in 2014, this LP from Donovan Wolfington has been very highly anticipated. Despite losing members during the recording period, the band have managed to release one of the most exciting records of the last few months. Combining punk rock with a real southern rock charm has made Donovan Wolfington one of the more unique bands on the scene. ’How To Treat The Ones You Love’, is an eclectic mix of both of these genres that centers around the themes the band experienced first-hand whilst mourning the loss of a close friend.
The opening tracks on the album are simple pop punk songs but with real Emo style and expressive lyrics and delivery.’Basalisk’ and ’Mercurus’ have a lot in common both stylistically and instrumentally but remain entertaining in their own right. The band continue to dive into various different genres with the huge sounding ‘Locust’, which is pretty much a doom metal song, it’s that heavy. Strangely Donovan Wolfington manage to keep some of their Indie-rock quaintness throughout.
Next up is ‘Mosquito’, which brings an almost post rock vibe. The simplicity of the earlier tracks makes way for countless guitar layers and less emphasis on the vocal melody. The track has a distinct change halfway through as Donovan Wolfington slip seamlessly back into their indie punk sound.
The flow of the album starts to stutter slightly as we move past the halfway point, although the tracks become less interesting and less varied, they are still an entertaining listen. Most people will find something to enjoy on this record, and those who dig a little deeper may enjoy the more diverse sound from some of the earlier offerings. On first listen it can be quite overwhelming as there is so much going on and so many changes in the earlier part of the record. It is admirable that Donovan Wolfington have applied their own touch to various styles of influence, however it makes their most standard Indie-rock songs sound a bit stale in comparison.
’How To Treat The Ones You Love’ is a solid if slightly underwhelming record. The promising start and the varied style is fantastic, but when a song is more conventional the flow of the record is totally turned on its head. With a little more consistency this could have been great instead of just ‘good’.
‘How To Treat The Ones You Love’ by Donovan Wolfington is released on 21st August on Topshelf Records.
Words by Andy McGonigle (@andyjmcg87)