Music Reviews

Courting: In Review

Alex Tearle

Alex Tearle reviews some of the most interesting releases from the discography of Courting.

Courting are one of the best new bands of the last few years, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been listening to their discography on repeat since their first tracks were released. These reviews cover some of the band’s more recent work and I’m excited to see what the band have in store.

‘Grand National’ (2021)

‘Grand National’ is the first EP from Liverpool based four-piece Courting, and they explode onto the scene with an exciting and unique energy. The band are one of my absolute favourites at the minute and this EP is undoubtedly the reason why, combining post punk and alternative rock to great success.

the band succeed with completely different styles

The four tracks are reminiscent of the band’s older works but feel more realised and mature, with exceptional lyrics that highlight class, racism, and politics in Britain. A particular stand out for me is the titular ‘Grand National’, a fast-paced song that summarises the band well – it’s electric and fun, easily shoutable and still comments on life in modern Britain, a perfect combination.

The band can be really funny too, especially in Popshop!, with the line ‘‘…If you stream “Shape of You” / you’re going to hell’’, a joke not many bands would risk. Crass and Slow Burner are slightly more serious in their tone but are still excellent, particularly in terms of lyrical and musical range, with the band succeeding with completely different styles of drumming, guitar work and lyrics. This EP is absolutely fantastic, and I can’t wait to hear more.

‘Grand Prix (Remixes)’ (2021)

Putting out a selection of remixes straight after an EP is particularly impressive, and Courting succeeds with this too. The album features art from FEET’s lead singer and remixes from Robbie & Mona, GLOWS and Wondering – highlighting the band’s success.

Not all the tracks here are as fantastic as ‘Grand National’ (EP), but that’s not to say ‘Grand Prix’ isn’t thoroughly enjoyable. The four remixes add a completely new layer to Courting’s writing and production, showing the range of the band’s lyricism and style. If you’re a fan of the band, this is a fantastic addition to an already brilliant EP. If not, you might feel these remixes are a bit lacking – they stand out on their own but need to be listened to alongside the original singles to be appreciated fully.

three stars

Football (2020)

Football is one of Courting’s original singles, a high-octane blast through one of the nation’s favourite sports. Its tempo paints the track as a football anthem (and it could be considered one), with shouty and simple lyrics backed by a thumping drum and marching guitar progression.

their lyrics are nuanced and complex but are still catchy

This being said, I think the song is best considered as the antithesis of this, with lyrics like ”Got to keep it in his head / Or he’ll never pay the rent” snuck in beneath the shouted ”Football!” chorus and raucous applause to hint at the mental degradation that such a demanding sport requires, an undertone that could be easily missed on a single listen. It’s tracks like these that prove Courting are a band to watch; their lyrics are nuanced and complex but are still catchy enough to entertain a crowd at a festival. Football is an exceptional single and should be considered quintessential Courting listening.

four stars

Alex Tearle

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

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