It may have been a decade in the making, but Aberdeen-based punk rockers The Ruptured Ducklings have laid down a strong marker with the launch of their debut EP. The band have honed an energetic pop-rock sound that leans hard on big engaging choruses, which they describe to us as “catchy, melodic and punchy.”
The band first began around 10 years ago when Jonny (bass and vocals) and Caz (guitar) met at college and formed an acoustic trio called Make My Day – which came from the name of a Guns’N’Roses B-side album. They soon discovered the name clashed with that of a German band so they soon switched to the more eye-catching The Ruptured Ducklings and, after a few comings and goings, completed the lineup with Dawid (guitar) and Maras (drums).
The result of all this is the band releasing their debut EP Broken Foundations at the end of June. And the record suggests anything but ‘broken foundations,’ as it’s a strong first effort.
It opens up in lively fashion as jumpy guitar chords and rolling drums lead into a cheeky little guitar solo in the intro to The Hoax. A catchy verse of “Everything I’ve done I did it for you, Working my ass off all year long, What are you doing when I’m not home, I bet you’re just sitting watching shows” flows into a lively chorus that ends on “Hey hey” cries, then rolling guitars drop into another verse.
The second chorus gives way to another guitar solo, which drops into angsty vocals over palm-muted guitars then cries of “I hate you, I hate everything about you” take us to a lively ending. It’s a strong first impression.
The punky goodness keeps coming with the enjoyable Help Me!, which features a really catchy chorus, then the pace drops a little on the more anthemic Envy.
But a personal favourite track is the excellent Dark Thoughts, which opens with edgy, yet really cool high-pitched vocals over chugging palm-muted chords. It bursts into a big singalong chorus “We’ve all had dark thoughts, Doesn’t mean we fall apart, No-one could know your pain, No-one could comprehend, We’ve all got friends that would never let us see the end.”
A second chorus gives way to a cool effects-ridden guitar solo over chugging guitars, then kicks into a faster solo over heavier guitars. A chilled verse builds up to a final blast of the chorus, give it a listen below.
On the EP, the band tell us: “We are very excited to release Broken Foundations to the world. It’s something that’s been in the works for a while now. You should expect a lot of emotionally fuelled experiences exploding from the tracks.”
While on the creation of the EP, they add: “The process towards the EP was quite long and tedious at times. Jonny and Caz own and run D-Range Recording Studio & Rehearsal space so we have all the facilities to record and produce our tracks. This is a massive advantage for us but, at the same time, it can be an obstacle. The tracks appearing on the E.P have been re-recorded and mixed over the years as we went through member changes and improvement of the studio’s equipment and production standards.
“Having our own studio and producing your own music gives you a lot of freedom and space to work but it also means that you are extra critical, which can lead to a longer process compared to a strict approach where everything is budgeted from the rehearsing/songwriting process to the final release. Positively, it has been a great learning curve and the extra time taken has meant the tracks are the best production that they can be.”
The band have all come from different backgrounds but they take strong shared musical influences from the likes of Green Day, Blink-182, Korn and Say Anything. And on what influences them to write music, they explain: “Life, experiences and the emotions that go with it. A common topic covered in Broken Foundations is the good, the bad and the importance of relationships.”
The band are busy promoting their EP and you can see them play a couple of gigs in Aberdeen this month, at their D-Range studios on 16 August then at Krakatoa on 30 August. More info on their gigs is here.