words: Joseph Emmett
Seemingly out of nowhere, Bristol/London five piece Speed Skater have arrived with a stunning, charming EP. Even before hitting play on the seven track release, the signs are good – the EP was record by Rosie Smith (Oh Peas!, Neurotic Fiction) and the band contains Jake May (Grubs), a positive indicator if ever there was one.
Across its duration, Olympic Gold is full of life-affirming, ramshackle, rough around the edges more pop than punk, a sound not dissimilar to Trust Fund. Lead single "Punching Bag", seemingly a staunch anthem of resistance with its of “I can take any move you throw at me”, is a track that radiates empathy, boasts a ‘we are in this together but we can get through this spirit’ and makes you feel Speed Skater have got your back. Of course it helps that it is catchy as hell and has beautiful backing vocals. But there is insightful introspection here as well. "Depend On Me" feels fragile, questioning “Why are you making the choice to depend on me?”. It poses the question that is right in front of us all the time, why do people trust us? How important is that? But Speed Skater’s clarity brings it in to focus which is, frankly, the mark of a great band