Diploma and ‘The Cost Of Clarity’ Enroute and In Depth.

Diploma – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


If you’ve ever had anything to do with the Melbourne Punk music scene then you will know how daunting it can be in size, cohesion and general shock and awe. It was something during my six months in the city I found sadly only limited time to enjoy due to the life of a saving-to-travel backpacker. That said, I was impressed nonetheless and eventually called it a home of sorts.

MF has covered many of the cities’ finest which will be left for you at the end but for now, its the emotive Punk sound of Diploma that warrants your undivided attention to complete itself and likely yourself.

The five-piece collectively cite the likes of Canadian Indie/Emo/Post-Hardcore notables Moneen, Melbourne Punk staples Clowns and New Zealand Melodic Hardcore band, Bleeders to name a few. Now before we get on and down and dirty in the detail of Diploma, if need be, do familiarise yourself with those names or take note for later.


Within the opening notes of ‘Macho’ it almost feels just that. The band citing Hardcore and Hardcore rooted bands despite their own melodic delivery suddenly makes sense. ‘Macho’ has a slow thudding weight and powerful dual vocal delivery riding the high-pitched guitar-lines that themselves would be nothing without the subdued rage of the bass and rhythm section.

In many ways bands of days gone by can be heard. The era where Punk and particularly Hardcore became far more obviously emotionally inclined and melodically driven with names such as Dag Nasty, Embrace, Rites Of Spring, Fugazi and Gorilla Biscuits coming to mind.

These are names that would later spawn the stylistics of the more Post-Hardcore led or influenced bands such as Gunmol, Hot Water Music, Comeback Kid, to again, just name a few.


‘Lauralie’ and its tale of pain is reminiscent of this. The layered Emo tone on Pop-Punk guitar melodies and a gritty 80’s tempo marks the stage where the release really strengthens its grip on you as it guarantees your continued attention.

‘Curse These Metal Hands’ despite its intriguing title is simply a brief instrumental with the sounds of a busy public place before a song title with a point to make, ‘Everything Is Reparable, It’s Whether Or Not It’s Worth Repairing’. Musically a mid-tempo Pop-Punk leaning track with backing screams fittingly subdued marks both a mid point and staple for the sound of Diploma.

Diploma’s sound is heavily marked by the emotive vocal delivery that sits as the top layer of a human cake with its heart well and truly on its Punk-Rock borne and openly expressive sleeve. ‘Fake Tan’ epitomises this openness but also provides the best example of the layered guitars thus far as they contrast with the rhythm section as the final parallel layer.

The above is the forerunner of the soon to be released EP set for May 26th and within the continuity of the whole release, closes it perfectly.

‘End And End And End (Then Die)’ is very much the most stylistically aggressive a with a few pointers to a harder and faster sound that I hope the band will explore further. The pop-melodies are there and rule the chorus, while in the verses the band’s backing vocals are as on point as they can be with the mild gang shouts particularly enjoyable.

Diploma tackle a slightly more 90’s led Punk sound in the vein of much of the contemporary Victorian Punk scene and prompt you to wish for the song and EP not to end, which marks the one real criticism… it all ends too abruptly and I quite unprofessionally am not down with that and yearn for more.

Find the band and details of the release show below:


Matthew Speer

Matt has 2.1 BA in History and is most likely somewhere in his twenties. He enjoys a wide range of music, but has a strong penchant for Punk-Rock. Originally he hails from the Isle Of Wight off the South Coast of England, UK and spends most of his time around England's South-West.

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