Album Review: Detached – “None the Wiser” EP

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Paging all Less Than Jake fans. If you’re looking for another band to get into but don’t want to step too far outside your comfort zone, Detached might be exactly what you need. From the way they blend brass instruments over punk guitars to the “whoa” that pops up here and there (it’s especially evident on “Teeth Rattling Bone Shaker”), if you had your iPod on shuffle and weren’t paying attention, you might think you stumbled upon some Hello Rockview-era track you’d totally forgotten about.

Which isn’t to say that Detached is unoriginal. The group’s sound is more of an homage, maybe a bit of a nostalgia thing, than some sort of rip-off. The South Wales six-piece is newer- and younger-sounding than their skacore forefathers.

The EP opens with “Don’t Bite The Crust (And Say The Pie Ain’t Tasty),” flying right into strong vocals, then a driving drum and crisp horns. At one point there’s a little call-and-response singing, which could be compared to Rancid if it happened more often, and something in the drum beat makes me think of NOFX.

“F.U.B.” opens with some nice punk riffs. The horns back out of the spotlight a little on this track, which is the shortest song on the EP, until they chime back in forcefully near the end. The vocals have more of a shouting style, and there’s a hint of what sounds like a really good bassline (Rancid influence again?).

The third song is “Teeth Rattling Bone Shaker,” which I already mentioned is the most LTJ-nostalgic track on there. It definitely has a more traditional ska sound than the first two songs, with smooth brass and upstrokes, and let’s not forget the “whoa-oh” that runs throughout the choruses. A slick horn solo brings the song to a close.

“The Lockup” starts off with a cool little bass solo before slamming forward into a wall of punk-ska sound. The energetic and bouncy track “Horizons” employs some quality guitar work. The EP closes with “Rid Of It,” which is catchy and full of hooks that I can easily see a bunch of drunk punks singing along with at a live show (that’s a compliment).

None the Wiser is a catchy, bouncy and enjoyable EP. It has a summertime feel to it that’s in stark contrast to the freezing rain pouring down outside my apartment as I write this review. Detached is clearly talented and they’re taking their influences from some really great bands, but the group could do a little more to develop their sound into something that’s really their own. Or they could start lobbying really hard to get signed to Paper + Plastick.

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