Words by Maddy Howell
As the home of Moose Blood and the more recently acclaimed emo-pop duo Drawstring, Kent is quickly becoming a breeding ground for the melancholier side of the music scene.
One of the latest talents to join the ranks is Folkestone three-piece T-Rex Can’t Swim, documenting their intriguing blend of grunge, indie and spoken-word on debut EP Us. With influences ranging from Weezer to Old Gray, and having already received support from Dowsing’s Erik Hunter Czaja, the band have been set to bring something important to the scene since their inception.
Us. opens with ‘Sports’, a short upbeat indie-styled track baring musical resemblance to Moose Blood and vocally drawing comparisons to Exeter punks Splitsville. It’s bouncy, fun and oddly compelling, providing the quintessential opener to the band’s debut release.
A perfect insight into vocalist Elliot-Hudson Tyler’s spoken word talents is given on ‘Avatar Was a Really Overrated Movie’, with an introduction reminiscent to the softer side of Old Gray’s early work leading into a thrashing climax, intertwined with delicate twinkly sections before the final spoken word outro. Lyrically the track takes on the topic of romance in an almost desperate fashion, at times seeming like the reading of a love letter.
‘Jo’ and ‘Art Class’ are the final offerings of the EP, with Jo tackling the topics of suicide and depression in a Dinosaur Pile-Up-esque grunge manner. The vocals come across slurred and distorted, adding a slight punk edge to the track, further complimented by the deep bass lines.
The EP’s longest track, Art Class, opens with hints of Into It. Over It influence, before dropping into a more guitar heavy zone. Tyler’s spokenword aptitude is further demonstrated as the track closes, with the underlying soft guitar notes and mellow drum tones bringing the EP to a fitting close.
As their first studio release, Us. presents T-Rex Can’t Swim taking a huge leap into the ranks of British emo’s finest. With this EP as a starting point and enough room for development in their sound, big things can and should be expected from this South-East trio.