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A Magazine for Sheffield

wormboys smalltime

Fuzzy, wistful and authentic, Leeds noise pop band wormboys return with three-track EP smalltime.

Released: 27 January 2023

Despite only consisting of three songs, wormboys’ EP smalltime has a multitude to unpack.

Beginning with a punchy bass and a solid beat, the EP leads us through contrasting ideas and feelings. The band has been joined by new members Jake Maiden and Ruth Pearce but they continue with their lo-fi bedroom appeal, succeeding at rousing curiosity and impressing with the quality of their output.

Upbeat and summery, ‘something pretty’ would fit nicely sandwiched on the radio between songs by Wet Leg and Paramore. It’s the kind of lyrically-enticing song you walk down the street in time to the beat to, feeling like the protagonist. The kind of song you find yourself relating to on a deeper level without really knowing why. The kind you feel yourself being drawn into, wanting to be the singer. As the meaning unfolds the story becomes clear – one of sensual self-indulgence and confidence in self-expression.

Showing the band's ability to create distinct emotional environments through their songwriting, ‘worm’ is moodier. Music history sneaks out of the sound of this song, with the likes of past Radiohead and Nirvana rising up from the combination of Harry’s and Sop’s voices and the melanchy instrumentation. Contrasting with how the experimental pedals ground the listener, the rhythm and tone of voices pull the lyrics forwards as though in a dream.

An overarching sense of peace and resolution settles over the listener by the time the EP comes to an end. Last song ‘tree’ is slow in comparison, but it still holds the same emotive build-up, the push and pull between vocals during the chorus making for a captivating hook. The lilt in the words “I cannot” is poignant and raw when placed alongside its despondent guitar riffs. 'tree' rounds the EP off with style, leaving the listener with a sense of catharsis.

by Cat Caie (she/they)
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