The first thing to be said to The Relatives' credit is that they are willing to admit that their work is hugely influenced by The Wildhearts, something which many previous culprits have been unable to confess to. In fact, The Relatives probably fall somewhere in the middle of the Antiproduct / Wildhearts / Backyard Babies triangle, displaying elements of all three: at a first glance, perfect for anybody who likes loud, bouncy guitars with poppy melodies which flick through an array of emotional states as frequent time changes manage to transport every song from crunchy rock & roll to dreamy psychedelia and all the way back.
The paradox, however, is that what makes the aforementioned bands so incredibly special is their unique qualities - their ability to touch you in a completely new way and in places that have never been touched before. Falling in love with a band (and I mean real, genuine, weak-at-the-knees love) is inevitably going to feel different every time, and in this respect The Relatives lose out, because by going over old ground they can never hope to affect you in a completely new way.
Of course, it could be that I'm reading too much into the whole affair - in music, many people are simply looking for something that makes them want to get up, go out and live life, and the Say it with Vodka EP could be just the thing to provide the motivation to do that. Its straight-ahead, guitar-driven rock format is enough to wake anyone up, and those occasional shifts of gear make it that little bit more interesting. It is a little difficult for me to devote myself to those when it all sounds so familiar, but to be fair, this is a great deal better than similar releases knocking around, and as a first EP it makes the thought of an album full of this type of material a most attractive one.
6Mr Ben's Score