Concrete Armbands - 'Sertraline' Review

Label: Self-released

Release Date: 21st August 2020

Rating: 8/10

“If 'Sertraline' is at all indicative of Concrete Armband’s upcoming EP, then they are onto a


Ahead of the release of their second EP I Don’t Like People Who Think They’re

Above Everyone Else, Sheffield band Concrete Armbands have already set the bar

high with their new single 'Sertraline'. The track combines the heavy guitar riffs and

lyrics that characterize their previous work, but encase it in an altogether more

polished track with a hook that will make it an instant hit at live shows.    

'Sertraline' artwork.

In an interview with lead-singer Josh Teggert last month, he confessed that his songs were the best conduit for his emotions, while noting the difficulty men have with facing up to their emotions. Concrete Armbands, he claimed passionately, were about "changing the stigma", around "accepting that we have problems and we have to talk about them". 'Sertraline' embodies this through and through, and whilst it is a fantastic track in its own right, a deeper dive into the lyrics adds a further, very real dimension to the band’s music.      

We must also talk about the title itself. Sertraline is an antidepressant commonly prescribed by doctors. From this title alone, listeners know they are going to be in for an emotionally charged and intensely personal listening experience, one which the words “my innermost thoughts / are tainted by sadness” within the first thirty seconds of the track only serve to confirm. The theme of depression and self-worth continues to be battled throughout the track; Teggert highlighting how “One negative thought / Can kill any goodness inside of me”. The track ends on a lighter note, reflecting how there is “no more time to be downhearted”. The journey’s conclusion offers the impression of gatecrashing Teggert’s internal monologue, but it is one that you cannot pull yourself away from.  

With this release, Concrete Armbands take their audience on a melodic and lyrical journey, With the strong riff accompanied by Teggert’s powerful voice and a wide array of instruments, the track begins with guitars only before it builds to a crescendo with the second chorus. With a full minute of listening experience to go, the audience will find a

longer and more peaceful outro which sees the song end as it began, with the

sound of just one guitar.

If 'Sertraline' is at all indicative of Concrete Armband’s upcoming EP, then they are onto a

winner. It's impossible not to enjoy the melodies and lyrical vulnerability which the song possesses, and the chorus will have fans bobbing their heads. For those who enjoy IDLES, Fontaines D.C. or Biffy Clyro, Concrete Armbands are definitely a band to keep an eye on, and their upcoming EP offers them a chance to really burst onto the scene in a big way.

Words by Ben Browning.

Read Ben's previous interview with Concrete Armbands here.

20th August 2020.

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