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Posted on August 26th, 2015 (10:00 am) by Magdalene Taylor

Putting out two releases in the last two years, New Orleans indie punk band Donovan Wolfington were met with their share of success. Cutting into this, however, was the sudden shock of loss and the regret that comes with no longer being able to right past wrongs in light of it. It’s this duality of experience that defines their latest album, aptly named How To Treat The Ones You Love. The album features a combination of punk and indie rock sounds, lightly mixing but primarily dividing each song by its way of managing its various influences. A running thread of How To Treat The Ones You Love is its unending lyrical honesty and sense of genuineness that rings through the powerfully rhythmic album.

The band cites metal and punk as being a piece of the formation of their sound, but what comes through on How To Treat The Ones You Love is a blisteringly warm and energetic punk-edged indie rock. This is to say that the metal influences are largely not in the picture, but there’s no sense that something is missing. Though the majority of songs fall into the aforementioned description, save for a few wildly different songs (see “HxC Punk”), there is still a serious sense of individuality to each track. This is largely the work of the lyrics and the rhythms at play. The second track of the album, “Basalisk” sets the tone for this, taking on an almost Weezer-like level of rhythmic uniqueness and likeability.

This furthermore comes to light with the sense of dedication and enthusiasm that shines through the album. It makes sense for the group, having finished production on the album in the aftermath of the death of their friend and studio owner Rick Naiser. As a press release for the album states, “the production of this album suddenly became about the band righting their wrongs and realizing their failings with the people they care most about. “ This is quite obviously a heavy weight to bear, particularly through such a confessional and revealing medium as an album. Yet, Donovan Wolfington manages to capture the experience, balancing an aggressive darkness with tracks like “Locust” with the softer, romanticized “John Cena.” The title for the latter track alone displays something about the character of the band.

Donovan Wolfington has done something difficult with How To Treat The Ones You Love - they’ve displayed the process of navigating the world after the death of a loved one, while still looking forward with warmth. The final track “Sadhead,” gives a closing comfort to the album, demonstrating peace and acceptance of the way things are, but a clear remembrance of which it's impossible to let go.

Track List

  1. ”Ollie North”
  2. ”Basalisk”
  3. ”Mercurus”
  4. ”HxC Punk”
  5. ”Slow Loris”
  6. ”Locust”
  7. ”Mosquito”
  8. ”John Cena”
  9. ”Rhonda”
  10. ”Solo Cup”
  11. ”Hershel Thursday”
  12. ”Manchac”
  13. ”Sadhead”
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

74 / 100
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