EP review: Dude Trips – You Are The Reason I Hate Leaving

Rising Scottish emo troupe Dude Trips burn brighter with aching fourth EP...

EP review: Dude Trips – You Are The Reason I Hate Leaving
Sam Law

The feelings of heartache and isolated longing at the centre of Dude Trips’ roadworn emo feel somehow more authentic than those of many of their peers. Hailing from Fraserburgh in Scotland’s far north-east, the quartet have gained a reputation for earnest, vulnerable blue-collar rock over three EPs and one album thus far. Where 2017’s Sad Lads, 2018’s Keepsake and that 2019 LP Through Love & Death, You’re All I Have Left bore the hallmarks of talented small-town boys desperate to break out, though, with March’s Songs For The Broken Hearted and this quick-fire follow-up, they’ve begun to look very much like the real deal.

In tentative, confessional 67-second opener Leaving, surging second track Evergreen and the pulsing nostalgia of 1964, there are irresistible comparisons with fellow Aberdeenshire natives The Xcerts and Cold Years. That’s no bad thing. Dude Trips’ salty-accented vocals and open reckoning on the risks of depression when removed from the world feel less like calculated imitation than a strident expansion of the UK’s granite-faced northernmost rock scene.

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With the beating bittersweet of gravelly love-song Polola and windswept romantic lament Stay, too, their horizons feel broadened, nodding to farther-flung UK heroes Funeral For A Friend and high-flying contemporaries like Trash Boat and Boston Manor. Still a shade away from that level of assuredness, here are a few rougher-than-intended edges here and there on You Are The Reason I Hate Leaving, but that only feeds into Dude Trips’ aura of wide-eyed honesty and unaffected charm. And, in tear-wringing closer Gentle – a eulogy for some furry friend that blindsides staggeringly with its frank, full-hearted emotion – they deliver the sort of kitchen-sink poignancy that few others could.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Cold Years, The Xcerts, Boston Manor

You Are The Reason I Hate Leaving is released on August 6 via Venn.

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