Welsh Band Penny Rich Blend Punk and Grunge On Their Thrashy Newest Release “If Everyone’s An Expert…” Penny Rich
Reviewed by Sam Lowry

Blending seamlessly styles from gutterpunk to grunge, UK artists Penny Rich offer up an energetic new LP.

Penny Rich takes a bit of System Of A Down and spins it with 90’s Alt rock in the vein of Alice In Chains and Nirvana to create a visceral new rock sound. The screams in songs like “Spirals” will remind you of bits of Nirvana’s In Utero track “Scentless Apprentice”.  Every track has that driving Seattle grunge sound with dissonance like the band Failure but sped up to punk rock speeds. The band says of their track newest single,“‘Spirals’ is a song about finding futile solutions to life’s upward and downward spirals from the point of view of someone with underlying perfectionism and OCD. It explores the subconscious reflex of reaching for all-encompassing answers to your problems, be it a fad diet, a new routine, etc. Eventually, these solutions all ultimately fail, leaving you back at the bottom, at the start of the next spiral.” Lead vocalist Ant says the writing of “Spirals” was cathartic in helping him deal with body dysmorphia and OCD issues leading to him seeking help for his overall mental state.

The band like the aforementioned System Of A Down offers up what they call “polarized” personal takes on the current political climate. In between the Nirvana like screams on big chorus parts is a very Serj Tankian type vocals on some tracks but then on other tracks like “Sugar Pill” we get a more straight forward punk vocal in the vein of a hyped up vintage Johnny Rotten.

Across every track the bass guitar is a driving factor similar to bands like Failure and Jawbreaker the bass is not buried at all, it’s up front alongside the guitars with a biting distorted edge and not the usual low end that is felt but not  heard so much. The bass acts almost as the rhythm guitar filling up space while the guitar is free to play more sparsely. This really helps the quiet loud quiet loud dynamic the band builds on every track. Overall if you were a fan of Nirvana’s Bleach, early Soundgarden, Alice In Chains heavier stuff, this is going to be right up your alley. I think it also has an old school gutterpunk edge to it as well kind of in that D.R.I. or Adrenalin O.D. vein. This band really creatively blends those two worlds seamlessly. As well at moments in songs “View From The Shallow End” or “Stasis” the band builds an eerie sound almost like something you’d hear from more of a shoegaze type band. This release has a lot of components to it if you are willing to scratch below the surface. The album “If Everyone’s An Expert..” drops on April 14th.

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alt rock grunge gutterpunk punk uk welsh