The enthusiasm of Sean Simmons, the songwriter and in all intents and purposes the driving force behind London's Simmons And The Stags, is infectious. Today, the band have released six tracks that make up their 'Stags' EP, with each song achieving an emotional poignancy albeit in different ways.
The EP opener and previous single release 'Lucy' sets the Stag's stall out with a vulnerable tale of lost love, or certainly unobtainable at least. The chorus is as catchy as you'll ever here and fans of the single will know what I mean. Better In The Night sees Simmons snarling into the mic with an angsty delivery of quite frankly antagonistic lyrics. Sure to b a live favourite ("Oi! Oi! Oi!"), Better In The Night is the soundtrack to any lads night out. Get Drunk continues the raucous vibe with a catchy mantra of what else. "Get Drunk!". The lyrics aren't as plain as that however as they do tell a tale of the negative effects of alcohol dependence albeit wrapped up in a gritty rock tune.
Halfway through the EP we are treated to 'I Need You' which is perfectly placed and a welcome change of tempo. The song is a showcase for guitarist Tom Franklin's gritty and mature vocal complete with a nod-a -long groove during the verses and a subline lead guitar refrain. 'By Your Side' is arguably the finest song on the EP. Lyrically, it sees the band stripped bare and selfless. The vocal delivery is perfect and goes to showcase how Sean Simmons is aware of altering his vocal tone to suit each genre of track here. The EP finishes with acoustic number 'With You' that is perhaps the lyrically strongest song on the Stags EP. The song is immediately endearing with a melancholic chord structure.
The Stags EP is the sound of a songwriter and a band not afraid to share their vulnerabilities and also impossible to pigeon hole. Sounding different from the majority of indie-rock/rock bands, Simmons And The Stags revel in a US-inspired tender rock influence, something that is displayed to great effect on this EP.
Simmons And The Stags are on tour next week. Click here for tickets.