The Raptors – Heavy Nights Wasted Days EP

by Matt Hacke

Matt Hacke reviews the new release from The Raptors, Heavy Nights Wasted Days, and is left excited for what’s to come.

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.


Loaded Gun

Rating: 3/5