Let Me Go is the debut four-track EP from Dublin band Badger Hill. Despite each of the members being 19 years old they sound like a far older, more mature band than their years would suggest.
Opener Doorstep sets the standard for the whole EP. It’s led by drums that plod along aimlessly as guitars chime to the sides. The lyrics try to come across as confessional but only manage to be blandly descriptive, with such insights as “and on the doorstep you said goodbye” and “I can’t believe that’s it, after everywhere we’ve been”.
Unfortunately the entire song hints at becoming something bigger but that doesn’t materialise, not for want of trying from the vocal performance. Despite the beige lyrics at least the singer is making an effort for a rousing performance. The same unfortunately can’t be said for the rest of the band. The performances are very flat and meander along uninterested and predictable.
Follow up track Bright Eyes softens the mood somewhat with gentle keys leading the track as guitars hum in the background. It does well to truly kill whatever little momentum Doorstep built up. It brings the EP from a casual, cruising 30mph to a very sudden zero.
It’s funny then that the EP gets a lot better for the closing two tracks Tommy and Let Me Go. The slide guitar and wistful melody pick the mood back up. The vocals are far more hopeful than the previous two tracks. There’s more looking forward optimistically than glancing back with regret. An outlook that suits Badger Hill better. It’s only when we get to Tommy do we hear the band sound like they’re all playing the same song and heading in the same direction.
Let Me Go opens with a sparkling dual-guitar part followed by some well placed backing vocals. At just over three and a half minutes it’s the most concise track on the EP which works in its favour. There’s little room here for anything unexpected or unusual to wander down the path.
A little more ambition in their songwriting wouldn’t go astray but that’s not something we’ll hold against Badger Hill for their first release.