Charmer – Best Worst Birthday Ever/Whateverville

Emo band Charmer have released a collection of their first two EPs; Best Worst Birthday Ever and Whateverville. 

By Jane Howkins

Best Worst Birthday Ever and Whateverville were first released last year, but were re-released together recently as a collection. Consequently, they both complement each other musically. Because of its re-issue status, this is recommended more for people who don’t already have the two EPs, as older fans may not get anything new out of this collection.

Best Worst Birthday Ever only contained two songs, so it makes much more sense for them to be released alongside Whateverville’s five songs. It’s also quite interesting to hear the progression the band made in between the original release dates of the two EPs (BWBE came out a few months before Whateverville). The tracks don’t differ too much, but there definitely appears to have been a slight shift in maturity between the original recordings of both EPs. Whereas BWBE is typical pop-punkfodder, Whateverville has a bit more maturity about it, with some slower moments adding up nicely. It’s great to be able to actively hear a band progress, and it gives us great hope for the band’s future.

There’s something rather old school about the Charmer’s sound, and when listening to the EPs, we’re particularly reminded of Brand New’s first album, Your Favourite Weapon. The vocals are quite similar to Jesse Lacey’s, and the songwriting and playing style is also reminiscent of his band, so if Charmer manage to mature even half as well as Brand New, then we will be suitably impressed. The one real issue that we did find with these EPs is that the sound quality really isn’t that great. Considering that this is a re-issue, you would expect the production to have been improved, as it really is quite bad at times.

Thankfully, the songs are good enough to pull through on their own merit, and we look forward to hearing what Charmer do next – hopefully there will be some new material next time round!