HWDU – Better You Than Me
Released 4th November 2022 through Savage State Music
Recorded at Mwnci Studios and Sunnyvale Studios
- Better You Than Me
- White Horse
- Lotus Eater
Matt Williams (Suns of Thunder, Sigiriya) – Guitar and vocals
Jonny Randell (Estuary Blacks) – Other guitar and other vocals
Owen Foote – Drums and other other vocals
Gavin Smith – Just bass
Swansea’s punk, stoner, old school rockers HWDU have been building up quite a following since the release of their ‘Love Crime EP earlier this year. With excited packed out shows in Swansea, Cardiff and a few festival dates to add to their armoury, HWDU have certainly impressed the crowds along the way.
Now they are back, well, they haven’t been away to be honest, but they are ‘back’ with a thumping brand new EP containing 6 in your face mini anthems that will take this quartet to even higher greatness.
Opening with the EP’s first single, the storming ‘Machine’, ‘Better You Than Me’ continues where ‘Love Crime’ left off. The familiar HWDU vibe is here, the thumping drums, the heavy riffs and the unmistakable vocals of Matt Williams, yet ‘Machine’ leans a bit more towards the grunge sound than their previous work. A few seconds of boom chicka boom boom chicka and the second track, the title track, is under way. ‘Better You Than Me’ is a pop punk anthem that you are going to love. It sounds like HWDU enjoyed playing this one too, judging by the outro clapping.
‘President’ is a real face slapper of a song. Very heavy with a superb solo and excellent mid section riff that certainly gets the head shaking. Matt and Jonny Randell’s guitar playing really lifting this track. ‘President’ just gets better the more you listen to it. ‘Squat’ thunders along like a train on the tracks. It starts off a little bit like Bluegrass with harmonica, a foot-stomping beat and twanging guitars, but this soon explodes into a stunning rock track. I love Gavin Smith’s chunky bass on this number.
‘White Horse’ is epic, it highlights just how good this band are at playing the more intricate arrangements. Very tight and driven the interplay is brilliant as they power through this awesome number. Great backing vocals and an astounding drumming performance by Owen Foote ensure that ‘White Horse’ is the stand out track on this impressive EP.
Final track is the wonderful ‘Lotus Eater’. What can I say about this one? Well, I would never have thought it was HWDU from the instrumental introduction. A very different sound for them, almost an early Iron Maiden type of intro. Yes, I said Iron Maiden…almost. Then it reminds me of…wait for it…Budgie!!! Okay, you may listen and think “What’s he on about?” That aside, it’s a cracking song. I love the subtle piano that’s sprinkled over it and the powerful lyrics that are true to HWDU. A superb track to end an equally superb EP.
‘Better You Than Me’ will open a few eyes and hopefully a few doors. Fans of their ‘Love Crime’ EP will be well pleased with this obvious progression in the HWDU journey. It’s an EP that reveals a more serious development in the band with regards to their playing and their songwriting. Oh, the fun is still there, so is the excitement, but now they’ve stepped up a gear or two and the result is sheer class.
Pete Devine Oct 22