Donovan Wolfington: How To Treat The Ones You Love Review

todayOctober 14, 2015 11

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By: Troy Burke

Donovan Wolfington: How to Treat the Ones You Love Artist: Donovan Wolfington
Album: How To Treat The Ones You Love
Label: Topshelf Records
Release Date: August 21, 2015

Donovan Wolfington has been making waves in the New Orleans scene since their 2013 release, Stop Breathing. After releasing that and an EP in 2014, the band doesn’t seem to be slowing down. How to Treat the Ones You Love is much darker than the previous work, and also has more of a cleaner and toned down sound.

Losing a band member for whatever circumstances is hard to deal with as an established band trying to write and record a new album. Singer and keyboardist Savannah Saxton left the band right before the recording process leaving Donovan Wolfington a member short. To make matters even worse, their studio manager Rick Naisier suddenly passed from a rare bone marrow disorder. Even though this happened at the beginning of the recording process the band pressed on and finished the record.

Tracks like “Solo Cup” and “Mercurus” sound like they belong on the last record. They have all the standard elements of good pop punk like catchy riffs and vague lyrics about a girlfriend that has just left. Other tracks like “Hxc Punk” and “Locust” you can hear the emotional ride that these guys were going through while making the album. “Hxc Punk” is a primal scream let out in frustration and anger. “Hxc Punk” starts out with loud feedback you would expect on a heavier band’s album like Trash Talk. Then you hear a guitar solo that probably belongs on an early Black Flag album. Singer Neil Berthier repeats with his 80’s hardcore growl mixed with a lot of rage,“You’re a leech” throughout the breakdown. After another solo inspired by hardcore punk of the past Bertheir yells in a condescending tone “hey come on there’s no need to get pissed.” “Locust” has an interesting spoken word clip that sounds like a pastor giving a sermon on a Sunday afternoon discussing topics like shame and how to deal with it. After the strange sermon, a sludgy guitar followed by more spoken word advising that “if you keep this locked up inside/ you’re not going to get better.” Clearly it is a release for Donovan Wolfington to write heavier tracks like this even though most of their work is considered pop punk.

Overall, How to Treat the Ones You Love is a great album that shows how diverse Donovan Wolfington can be even in the face of a tragedy. This isn’t just another record to burn through. Sit back and pay attention to this one.


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