One country that we’ve neglected in the last couple of years of writing about new bands is the Netherlands, having only found a couple of bands and none since mid-2017. But that’s about to change with the emergence of Utrecht punky-metalcore act Two And A Half Girl.
The quartet, who’ve been playing music together since they were kids, fuse catchy punk-infused riffs and big breakdowns with the engaging, powerful vocals of frontwoman Juliet.
On their sound, guitarist Daan Lutgerink explains: “I believe we’re somewhere between Metal(core) and Hardrock. We try to do something different. The rock and metal scene can be a bit stale or saturated. A lot of bands doing the same thing over and over again. Not stating that we’re better than other bands in any way. We just like to find something new in the heavy genre.”
The band only released their debut single Something New in November, but it gives us plenty to get excited about. Something New opens up with a bit of guitar noise and rolling drums before dropping into guitar chords supported by more pounding drums. Juliet’s catchy vocals kick in supported by the guitars and a more high-pitched guitar lick in the background.
It dives into a big catchy chorus led by Juliet’s powerful singalong vocals “Oh I want to try something new, Oh I guess I don’t need you, What did you expect of me? I think it’s time for us to go separate ways.” The rolling guitar chords kick back in – only to be broken up by big screamed vocals from Juliet that drop back into the chorus again. The pace suddenly drops down with echoey vocals, then builds up to one final smash of the chorus. Check it out in the video below:
On the track, Daan tells us: “The reaction has been very good. Many positive reactions and a lot of streams for a new band like us. We did not know what to expect because it was our first track. We were not sure people would like it or not.”
It’s safe to say that, despite Daan’s concerns, a lot of people will like this track, which comes ahead of the launch of the band’s debut EP Prove You Wrong, which is out on 1 February.
On the upcoming EP, Daan tells us: “I think that the new songs are little bit heavier than the single. The main ingredients are the same: catchy yet heavy, vocal harmonies and breakdowns. Metal with a pop-song structure.
“The lyrics are about some personal struggles: dealing with addiction, coping with death and the loss of loved ones. The main theme of this EP is to overcome yourself and your demons, not to bury them deep inside ourselves but to openly face them.
“Another way to interpret the album title is the fact that many people in our area give us little chance of succeding in our path to ‘making it’ as a band. This album title reminds us that you have to pursue your dreams even if the odds are against you. It may sounds cliché, but it’s true. That’s why the EP is called Prove you Wrong.”
Inspired by the UK’s own Architects, Daan tells us they’ve also drawn inspiration from a fellow Dutch band John Coffey – which admittedly I hadn’t heard of until now. As Daan explains: “John Coffey was the first heavy band with screamed vocals that got big in Europe. It’s a shame they called it quits, but it showed a lot of bands in Holland that you can get to ‘that’ level even in the Netherlands.”
While on the current Dutch music scene he adds: “It is a difficult scene, there is simply no airplay for small heavy bands. The scene is mainly active in the underground. Do not get me wrong, it is very active and there is an audience! However, there are many small shows. John Coffey has thus proven that it is possible to attract a large audience.”
Two And A Half Girl will launch their EP with a show at the “legendary” Paradiso in Amsterdam on 1 February, and have a series of gigs coming up across the Netherlands. As Daan says: “That’s something we’re really looking forward to. We are also going to play a lot of shows this year. We hope to play a lot more shows outside of the Netherlands.” You can check out their upcoming gigs here.