The reflexive answer to when somebody asks how you are is “fine.” Even when your brain feels like it’s on fire, the polite thing to do is to be cordial – nobody cares about your shit, you think.
But there are people in your life that do care and when they ask how you’re doing, you can be completely honest and god, what a relief that is. With how honest Thanks for Asking is, Fine, a quartet from Nanaimo, BC, make you feel like you’re one of their best friends. On their debut release, the band, under the lyrics of Max Pittet, speak openly about struggles with depression and anxiety all while weighed down by the heavy expectations that growing up can have.
To open their six track EP, Fine stomp through their teenage years with angry sounding guitar chords and angular additional squeaks. With each repetition of the song’s lone verse, the realization that a lot of the same teenage issues roll over into early adulthood dawns on Pittet and the band and this annoyance heats up. By the following track “Don’t Be Dead,” they embrace being alive and then in “Love Puke,” love is in the air and it’s overwhelmingly joyful and terrifying: “I’m afraid of pretty things, her soft and sweet voice plays in my head, and in my bed I cry.”
On the flip side of their EP, love has turned rancid. It’s unplanned, short lived, and causes pain on “Peas and Carrots” and then on closer “Gravity,” Pittet creates space for themselves in an effort to make a relationship healthier but the outcome is undetermined. Snuggled in between those two tracks is “Trauma & Depression,” one of my favourite songs from 2018. It’s a punky pop track with a melody that’s instantly grabbing. Pittet delivers their words (“I want control,” they beg) in a way that feels like they are sliding down a wall for a momentary rest. It’s a breathtakingly vivid expression of frustration from a band you’ll probably be hearing a lot more from.
Top Tracks: “Twenty Three”; “Trauma and Depression”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)