The dark valleys of Wales!
Named after the fictional mid west town in John Carpenter's 1978 slasher flick, 'Halloween', Haddonfield, hail from Wales and have a slightly dark pop/punk sound in the vein of Alkaline Trio and Brand New.
It's high energy pop/punk with dark lyrics like in the first song, 'Panic' which has a light mid-tempo beat that builds up into a big catchy chorus of, "We are the casualties// the bodies that line burning cities..." next song 'Romero' starts off with long slow riffs before it explodes into a fast punk rock song. What we have here is a new twist on horror-punk that was brought to the forefront by bands like the Misfits. Where bands often fall into the psychobilly rock'n'roll influenced genre, Haddonfield have successfully passed this by adding more new wave punk, and giving a fresh sound surrounding lyrics like, "In the graveyard, wide eyed and undead // Barbara's cracking up, like Johnny's broken head..."
We have tales of indulgence with the devil's water in, 'Bar Brawls & Downfalls' something which is also likened to Alkaline Trio and their love of alcohol abuse, before the blast of high octane punk in the song, 'A & E' smashes your body around the room like an innocently possessed child fighting unknown demons. Last song, 'Broke' starts of with some chunky bass lines and just like the end of a horror movie when the survivor, battered and bruised, walks away to the sound of gentle music, the song, like the movie twist jumps out, and what we have is one of the best songs here.
So Haddonfield have produced an EP which quite frankly is a joy to listen to. 'Bar Brawls & Downfalls' doesn't pretend to be hip and cool, but takes the main elements of punk rock, stabs in the dark lyrics whilst still remaining easily accessible and a bloody good listening pleasure. Yes, there are elements of Alkaline Trio and Misfits, but also flashes of other bands like new sensations Medina Lake, and it's these fresh mixes that help this to be the best EP that I've heard in a very long time. This band is definitely top of the list in the 'Ones to watch' category!