Last time I saw Half Naked, they were the incongruous support for Chicago-based American rock outfit, Fillgar when they came to Oxford to play at The Cellar. Offers And Refusals is the young (fully dressed, at least when I saw them) trio’s latest EP release; a follow up to their solid debut, Falcon Punch EP, reviewed earlier this year.
They are still a refreshing sound of metallic-punk-ear-onslaught with a punchy, technically excellent, chop-and-change feel to their music. The melodies and time signatures keep the ear listening and your sense of rhythm guessing. This is something that Half Naked do very, very well. There is an energy about this EP that is often missed in today’s local music scene.
However, my one major criticism is that I don’t understand what the hell they are singing about. I’ve listened through the five track EP three or four times now and still I haven’t the foggiest; I honestly could not say if the individual songs have a message or whether these are just words, cobbled together to form a verse. Part of the problem is perhaps that I myself am no huge investor of the genre and therefore, possibly miss the sentiment involved in this brand of lyrical expression. That could be it. Or it could simply be that here and there, the production of this EP is not as good as it deserves to be and the vocals are occasionally lost in the melee of the ten metal strings and Pro Marks; something that perhaps isn’t as important to fans of the band and their music. I certainly hope not, because having listened Falcon Punch and now Offers And Refusals, this is a marked improvement.
This EP proves that in the mere six months between releases, Half Naked have taken a step up and are ready to be heard. Give it a listen, go and see them, enjoy the noise!