itoldyouiwouldeatyou – ‘Don’t Cheer Up’ EP review

itoldyouiwouldeatyou EP Rose Coloured Records Don't Cheer Up

itoldyouiwouldeatyou have expanded from Joey Ashworth’s solo project to a full band over the past 18 months and this progression has served the London/Guildford(ish) five-piece so well. Having honed their skills in various live shows alongside the likes of the Xcerts, Jamie Lenman and Theo, they’re now set to release their first EP proper with our friends at Rose Coloured Records. Having already released a well-received split with Annabel Allum on RC, this time around ityiwey offer up five tracks of emo-tinged goodness.

Opening in rather delicate fashion, ‘For Starters’ may start off rather gloomy (or ‘Glue Me’ as to our ears it delivers a nod to latter-day Los Campesinos!) but it gives you the chance to hear what the band are about. Earnest and confessional lyrics and fears are laid bare: ‘I’m easily lead, but I’ve been lead by the best’; ‘The weather scares me’; while a more melodic backbone comes to the fore. As it reaches its final minute, there’s a sea change that The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die would be proud of, especially in Sean Westall’s rapid drums. Following this is previous single, ‘All Unwritten Classics’, an anthemic piece full of driving bass, engaging handclaps and shouty choruses.

‘Learning from American Mistakes’ appeared on the ‘We Have Not Panned Out’ split, but on this EP the guitars have been beefed up and there are extra backing vocals and atmospherics that bring to mind The National’s sense of futility and regret. As the song progresses, the words ‘It’s my very first time’ are repeated over and over and brilliantly ridiculous riffs are thrown into the mix to provide a pleasingly ear-shattering climax. ‘Asking Directions’ opens with some studio chat and has a punk spirit racing through it. Showing why the band are such a breath of fresh air, the first half of the song has a directness and love of the emo genre similar to that which has served Moose Blood so well. After a pause for breath around three minutes in, it comes back almost an entirely different song as the words ‘You don’t mind’ are stated among melodies that sound like Everything Everything having a fearsome mud battle with Brand New.

‘I am leaving for a year and you don’t care. You don’t like me like you did’ are the first words uttered on the EP’s closing track, ‘Word and Object’. With the sense of self-depreciation and over-examination of one’s mistakes and experiences that have served everyone from American Football to Jeffrey Lewis so well streaming through the subject matter, ityiwey turn it on its head with a heart-on-sleeves Against Me! or Their/They’re/There sound that is hard not to fall for

‘Don’t Cheer Up’ is an EP full of sad songs to make you happy.

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