by tom johnson
New Jersey quartet Melt really like the name “Riffer“, having already released an EP with such a name back in early 2015. Some eighteen months on from that, the band today unveil their brand new debut full-length, also called Riffer, featuring new versions of those same songs, a more than a handful of new ones which more than solidifies their burgeoning reputation. Co-released by Danger Collective Records and Topshelf Records, the ten-track record is a surprisingly tender meeting of well, riffs, and Dylan White’s burned-out vocal which leaves a pertinent mark on every one of these tracks.
Channeling that sense of a listlessness which seems sit at the heart of the American way of life, “Riffer” manages that rare trick of feeling both decidely burned-out but endearingly anthemic. Most of the tracks fall in to the short-sharp sub-three minute category, but the record never once feels fleeting. Underpinned by smart pop-punk sensbililities, Melt’s success lies in their ability to derive a genuine sense of atmosphere from otherwise banal surroundings.
The vexations of every-day living scrawl their mark across every inch of this record, but Melt use it only as fuel for their fire – and even in the more somber moments of the record, they retain a sense of dogged determination that keeps the whole thing moving forward. The three previously-heard tracks feels suitably at home within their new confines, while tracks such as “C-Town” and “Sabre”, with their shadowy autumnal vibes pushed to the fore, accentuate those over-riding feelings of isolate detachment, the playful guitar lines tumbling in on White’s hazy lead voice to create a vivid landscape that feels every bit as important as the songs themselves.
Compelling throughout, the new record builds on the band’s foundations and delivers something emphatic, despite the sluggish appetite for life that sits at the core of these songs. Ahead of the full release of the record this coming Friday, GFP is very pleased to share a full stream of “Riffer” today – and you can check it out below.
“Riffer” is released on November 25th, via Danger Collective/Topshelf Records