Commonwealth Choir – ‘No End’

By Renette van der Merwe

Philadelphia. Okay, so the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about this Pennsylvania city might be cheesesteaks, but Philly is also renowned for its arts and culture. With music just about pulsing through the city’s old bones, it’s unsurprising that it’s spawned bands like The Startling Line, Circa Survive, and Modern Baseball, alongside countless others who have left a prominent mark on the basement scene.

It’s this very scene fellow Philly band Commonwealth Choir have drawn inspiration from – and it shows, mixing in inspiration from greats like Elvis Costello and Tom Petty. The result lands them somewhere in the middle; one foot stomping along to punk, whilst the other is planted in the world of rock. Think The Replacements’ album ‘Tim’, and what had at that point evolved into a particular brand of punk rock that could be vulnerable, but still kick your ass when it had to.

A band since 2011, Commonwealth Choir can share in that sentiment with their new EP ‘No End’. With storytelling at the forefront of what they create, they’ve wrapped clever imagery in bouncy melodies and incredible hooks that on songs like ‘Light’ veer more towards punk, while ‘Down’ and ‘2010’ incorporate more soaring rock sensibilities. Regardless of genre, ‘No End’ is packed with catchy choruses, and is deliciously liberal with its punchy basslines.

Having lived their early days as a folk rock project, Commonwealth Choir retain an undercurrent of those folk and bluesy guitar tones, which makes their music stand apart from the chug of everyday pop punk. By creating all these different elements – look out for the surf rock sway of the pre-chorus of ‘Light’ – they’ve created something fresh that feels familiar, but also exciting at the same time. 

Altogether, it’s an enjoyable listen from a band who’ve undoubtedly found their feet – and we hope that ‘No End’ is just the starting line for Commonwealth Choir, with many more albums and EPs to come.

RENETTE VAN DER MERWE

Three more album reviews for you

Sharptooth – ‘Transitional Form’

ManDown – ‘We Want Blood’

The Beths - 'Jump Rope Gazers'