I’ve always had a soft spot for female vocalists but, especially when I started listening to punk rock in the 90’s, there were little to none female vocalists, and the few I got around to know did not have a voice that was satisfying to me. Things have gone better with the years, but I am still always eager to listen to a new band with a female vocalist. So naturally, I was excited to listen to the new CF98 EP that came out last April and, boy, was I not disappointed. I was not too familiar with their previous stuff but that new EP stepped it up a notch over the little I knew from the band.
There’s not a second wasted with the first song Thanks as it really draws you in with the opening notes. And then, like an avalanche, the drum starts rolling and the next thing you know, you get assaulted with the angelic voice of the lead singer Karolina Duszkiewicz. The buildup and the surprise effect make it my favorite song of the EP and I already found myself singing along to most of the lyrics after a few listens.
I could talk about all the songs individually but that would be a waste of time because in the end, they are all great songs. However, I’d like to point out that I really liked the gloomy tone employed on Ocean’s Lullaby as it fits perfectly with the lyrical content of the song, and the chorus of the song Navel of the World flows very naturally; it’s really catchy and got stuck in my head very quickly. But overall, anyone could make an argument on which song is the best of the EP as there is not a weaker one.
To be fair though, I really want to emphasize on Karolina’s vocals here because I think this is some of the best female vocals I’ve heard on a punk rock album. Don’t get me wrong, all the musicians are great and the music is top notch, but what brings this band as the cream of the crop are the vocals. This is a perfect blend between aggressivity and melody, the verses and choruses are well built and the delivery is flawless. If I had to compare, the band Not on Tour comes to mind, but CF98 tends to be more on the melodic side.
If you are a fan of fast and melodic punk rock with outstanding vocals, then this release is for you. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it is too short. Most of the time, I end up listening to the album twice before stopping it because it is that good. They have recently signed with MBBM management in Canada, which is hopefully the start of an adventure that will lead them to play in my area next year! 😊
Link to the EP: https://cf98.bandcamp.com/album/rotten-to-the-core-ep
– Guillaume T.