There are some fragile punky souls out there whose raw emotional experiences are not so much worn as branded on their sleeves....

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London Shepherd's Bush Empire

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London Shepherd’s Bush Empire

THERE ARE SOME FRAGILE PUNKY SOULS OUT there whose raw emotional experiences are not so much worn as branded on their sleeves. America, naturally, is full of them, and relatively speaking, it means they take their punk rock more seriously; where power isn’t necessarily measured by velocity or venom. And when they do tread old floorboards, they at least try to bring some new gloss to freshen things up a bit.

Here we find two shakers who carve notable niches in the post-hardcore frat. Washington DC’s Bluetip proffer the more savage yet art-conscious display. ‘Join Us’ effortlessly sways between waves of razor-sharp guitar abuse and ethereal pop manoeuvres such as ‘Bad Flat’ – a footnote on the perils of complacency – while Jason Farrell‘s brilliant asymmetrical prose reminds us that the psychology of the sensitive man is always infinitely more intriguing.

Kansas City’s The Farewell Bend adopt the archetypal sadcore vibe. They sound like they’re forever trapped beneath a mountain of melancholy: too jaded to wriggle free but just enough space to twang, wail and holler about their plight. Suffice to say, it’s a beautifully fragile thing that draws much from the eternal frown that sat on the face of H|sker D| all those years back. They play UK shows together in February. Now that’s emo-biz. Each