For a significant majority of the Exeter student populous, Cheesy Tuesday is a nostalgia trip – an opportunity to rehear tracks from our respective childhoods. We are all 90s children after all. However for someone like myself – who avoided TMF, Now! That’s What I Call Music albums etc, and subsequently became a religious reader of NME circa 2008 – Heavy Nights Wasted Days is far more likely to make me look back to my younger years fondly. This four-track EP is frequented by 21st Century indie tropes, complete with a Pete Doherty-reminiscent vocalist and Strokes-esque instrumentation. Yet in their utilisation of these influences, The Raptors have created a credible addition to the diverse, yet instantly recognisable soundscape of British guitar music.
Opening tracks Loaded Gun and Face Like Thunder are pretty damn good. The former judders along in a manner reminiscent of The View or The Hives, with Mitchell Steane’s piercing vocals repeating the mantra “70-something years to die, 27 years to feel alive” before giving way to a heavily-distorted guitar-solo. Loaded Gun is definitely my pick of the EP; its quintessential garage-rock, and something I’d be more than happy to hear at the Cavern on a Saturday night. Face Like Thunder meanwhile, seems like a lyrical cross between Artic Monkey’s Crying Lightning and Mardy Bum, but musically is most akin to The Libertines. The track, which has been on The Raptors Soundcloud for a few months, is epitomised by the back and forth of two vocal lines – an apparent homage to Barat and Doherty a la Can’t Stand Me Now. The subsequent tracks are satisfactory but do not reach the standard of the first two. Overall however, the EP is a worthwhile listen in its entirety.
Operating in such a distinctive genre, the risk The Raptors now run is becoming too indebted to their influences, and whilst Heavy Night Wasted Days is by no means derivative, the 4-piece are yet to carve out a totally unique sound. However, listening to this EP gives cause for optimism. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to hearing how The Raptors’ sound develops in the coming months.