Hot on the heels of last year’s excellent debut EP Limits, Traits are back with another helping of powerful pop-punk with their new EP Illuminate, which is available now via Bandcamp. Building on the solid foundations of their debut, these five tracks take energetic, melodic punk and sprinkle it with topical social commentary.
Less Fortunate opens proceedings with some chunky riffs that make you sit up and take notice straight away before the distinctive voice of singer Jonny Smith pushes the positive message of looking out for others. This lyrical positivity is enhanced by the bounce and groove of the music and helps hammer their point home.
The Good, The Bad & The Down Right Ugly follows and whilst not as instant as the opening track, it’s more melody driven, it does still have an upbeat and infectious vibe. Fear not though, the riffs are back on the up-tempo Paradigm, which charges along on a strong message of equality. It’s something Traits manage so well on this EP, and to a lesser degree on their debut, of not just highlighting inequality and injustice but attempting to take something positive from it. The catchy call for unity of “We’re all the same, we’re all human”, transform this track from a solid banger to a glorified fist pumping anthem.
Drop The Status Quo is possibly the most aggressive track on the EP. Spiky, fast with a throbbing bassline that gives it an agitated feel in line with the lyrical content of making your own decisions and people power.
The final track I’ve Made My Bed brings back the crunchy riffs over a punchy melodic tune whilst also adding an impressive little breakdown as the titular refrain worms its way into your head.
Overall, it’s another impressive outing from Traits who seem to have their finger on the pulse of the current climate, without appearing preachy, and more importantly creating accessible, infectious, melodic punk that grabs your attention.