Credit: Charlie Barclay Harris
Liverpool based four-piece Courting are set to release their sophomore album, ‘New Last Name’. Recorded in collaboration with legends The Cribs, ‘New Last Name’ once again sees Courting subverting any pre-convened genre expectations that may be held of them.
Setting the pace for the album is the raucous, ‘Throw’. It leads in with an ominous, frantic with the bass sounding more reminiscent of Green Day in their, ‘Dookie’ era rather than the more expected post-punk influences of today. The Cribs leave their fingerprints all over the track production wise, with the guitars stabbing their way through the track whilst somehow managing to toe the line of pop-melodies. This is built upon in the following track, ‘We Look Good Together’ which ventures even more into the pop genre, taking clear inspiration from artists such as The 1975.
As previously mentioned the album is tinged with this mid-2000’s indie sleaze sound, and this is at no point more evident than in the track, ‘Emily G’. Packed full of the aforementioned poptones, the track calls back to the days of bands like The Kooks and The Pidgeon Detectives, as the classic indie love song unfolds in front of us. Again, the hallmarks of Ryan Jarman’s guitar melodies are all over this, as the anthemic riff loops throughout.
This is not to state the album doesn’t have its darker edge. With the track ‘The Wedding’ the album takes a turn toward a much darker and claustrophobic sound, with the result being a track that standout as being much colder than the rest on the album. However, as the track progresses the guitars come back into focus as it races toward the chorus, it becomes clear that this was a song made to be heard in a live setting, belted about by a packed room.
Closing the album is the excellent, ‘America’, which is unquestionable the high point of the album. A tender, slower guitar melody kicks off the track before swiftly being swallowed by the gradual fuzz that bleeds through your speakers. As the guitars and drums slowly swell, the guitar remains the clear focal point throughout. It’s clear with this track the band took inspiration from more modern influences and is all the better for it, closing the album on what is by far its high point.
‘New Last Name’ is the sound of a band totally re-inventing themselves. It would be hard to believe this is the same group who first broke into the scene with the stereotypically post-punk sounds of, ‘Football’, back in 2020. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but that’s almost the point, taking your pre-existing notions of what the band are and turning it well and truly on its head.