Brighton trio Maisonette have honed a catchy but edgy fusion of punk rock and emo, which they describe as being “melodic, DIY, aggressive but also kinda chill.”
The trio was formed in 2019 by Ryan (vocals and guitar) and Ben (drums), who started making demos with the intention of being a two-man band. That was until Ryan met Karim (bass) at a house party and instantly knew he was what the band was missing.
And as Ryan tells us: “We instantly knew Karim was everything the band was missing. We have been playing shows locally up until the pandemic hit, we even had a show lined up with Plain White T’s at New Cross Inn, which had to be cancelled!”
On the sound they’ve honed after the last two years, Ryan tells us: “A very melodic, catchy mix of punk rock and emo, performed very sketchily by us. Our instruments fall apart on stage, things go wrong sometimes, but we carry on, because it’s not all about the music it’s about the energy.”
Our latest offering of this is their second EP Panic Earth, which they believe sees them nicely summarise the Maisonette sound.
It opens up with LIFEBOAT, which opens up with a blast of heavy guitars that drop into a light verse of edgy vocals. That flows into a heavier chorus of “Our home is nothing but a house,” which ends on another blast of heavy guitars and a cheeky little guitar lick. Lighter guitars take over and continue under another edgy verse, which bursts into a chorus and a big rock out of lively guitars and screamed vocals.
That’s followed by the excellent MY TIRED BRAIN, which opens with edgy vocals supported by lively guitars. The guitars drop out as lone chorus vocals “Well I’m creeping out myself ’cause I’m really losing it, But I really can’t tell” give way to a funky little blitz of guitar solo. Another engaging verse feeds into a heavy chorus then high-pitched guitars and a little bassline seem to be bringing the track to a close. But the guitars jump back in for a lively final smash of the chorus. Check it out in the video here:
Third track CONSTANT keeps the energetic punk going, opening with a little bassline that’s joined by a cool guitar lick. Ryan’s edgy vocals take over as a piercing guitar line feeds into a catchy chorus, which second time around gives way to a piercing guitar over drawn-out vocals. The pace drops before building up to a final melodic chorus then heavy guitar noise, rolling drums and vicious screamed vocals bring it to a raucous conclusion.
The EP closes out with I FEEL SO EMPTY, which starts with lively drums and guitars under engagingly edgy vocals. The pace drops before a heavy chorus of “I feel so fucking empty when I’m with you, I feel so fucking lonely when I’m with you.” Check it out here:
On the EP, Ryan tells us: “These songs we believe sum up our two years (if last year counted) of being a band. It sums up the sound that we have developed ourselves and the styles we bring to the table as musicians, it’s a good mix of every genre we play. These songs we are extremely proud of, and to be putting them out with the help of INIIT RECORDS and Bloated Kat records means everything, we don’t care if it does well or not, we’re just happy to put this out.
“It is a major improvement from our last EP, it’s like we are a different band. The EP’s name sums up the state of affairs the world has found itself in in 2021, but the songs are a reflection of the feelings of anxiety/fear felt by everybody, even you, can relate.”
The Maisonette sound has been influenced by artists like Title Fight, Joyce Manor, Turnstile, Angeldu$t, Basement and Jeff Rosenstock, as well as local bands like Park Avenue, Cutting Ties, Triple Sundae and Burnt Tapes.
And on what inspires their music, Ryan tells us: “Self reflection, dealing with everyday life and the awful shit it can throw at you, recovering from past memories and developing as a person. Encouraging self expression and being against the grain, fuck what anybody thinks of you, do what you want!
“But also kinda dark sometimes. Lifeboat is about trying to venture out into the unknown, being too anxious to do things and trying to fight it, but in the end the anxiety overwhelms and forces you retreat back into your usual anxious self. For example, the lines ‘I try to let go, but it’s hard when it’s all I ever know, so back to the routine, of holding on desperately’ and ‘A home is nothing but a house.’ Home is considered a safe place, a safety zone, but it’s nothing but a house, you may be safe from the outside world, but you’re not from yourself… and your mind.”
There’s plenty more to come from Maisonette, which should include more gigs when it’s all safe to do so. That begins with a show at the Hope and Ruin in Brighton with High Praise on 25 September. And Ryan reveals they may have an acoustic EP on the horizon too.
And he adds: “We play music for fun, as an outlet, without it I think we would go insane, I think it’s very important to express yourself in whatever way you can. Don’t let problems overwhelm you, find that outlet and embrace it.
“Our intention with this release is to inspire the listener to do this, start a band, make music, just plug in and play, play gigs and get messy! Keep the spirit of punk alive. Thanks to all the venues/promoters that have put us on in the past, and allowing us to expand our fanbase and reach new listeners, it means the world to us, we love what we do.”