Album Review: The Dissociates – After Hours at the Violet Club EP

Though maintaining a low profile throughout, London punks The Dissociates have been about for almost ten years, having played with many more well-known acts. On their latest EP, ‘After Hours at the Violet Club’, the band try their hands at a few different styles, sounding comfortable in all of them.

Deceptively heavy opener ‘Delete All’ is a breakneck hardcore punk-influenced track, starting things off with a bang. However, the following three tracks move away from this style, incorporating more melodic elements. These elements are added progressively track by track. For example, ‘Dial House’ is mid-paced and less in-your-face than ‘Delete All’, but still carries an air of aggression. This is a combination that works quite well, changing things up a bit from the opener, and creating a different kind of energy while still keeping the heaviness.

After Hours At The Violet Club by The Dissociates

‘After Hours at the Violet Club’ doesn’t stick on this for too long, though: ‘Radio Galway’, sounds more melancholic and wouldn’t be out of place on a mid-80s Replacements album. It’s still a fast-paced punk song, but the decision to ditch the aggression and add a bit more melody keeps things fresh.

This continuous adding of melody cumulates in ‘Long Player’, a heartfelt tribute to an unnamed rock ‘n’ roll musician who was a friend of frontman Dan Stevens’ father. Lyrically, it draws an interesting comparison between this man’s efforts and the well-established practice of DIY punk. Musically, it’s a stand-out, incorporating jangly, college rock guitars and a massive chorus. It’s bittersweet, wistful sound makes it almost ballad-like compared to the rest of the songs here.

The combination of punk rock with poppier melodies and college rock influences isn’t a new idea by any stretch, and there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before, so in the grand scheme of things ‘After Hours at the Violet Club’ is treading a well-worn path. Despite this, the songs here are enjoyable and well-written, and points should be given for The Dissociates simultaneously pulling off eclecticism and uniformity.

3/5

‘After Hours at the Violet Club’ EP by The Dissociates is out now on Safety Second Records.

The Dissociates links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Alan Cunningham (@funeral_polis)

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