British pop-punk outfit are back with their second album, Life’s Not Out To Get You, and I must say that after a few listens it is a pretty credible effort. The Welsh five-piece have been around since 2012 and this album is a follow up to last years debut Wishful Thinking.
Kerrang call Life’s Not Out To Get You “incredible” and the pop-punk album of the year, all without offering even the simplest (and laziest) justification for their viewpoint. It is perhaps articles like this that are responsible for the slow walk to death that music magazines are taking at the moment.
Sputnik music come over all fan-boy about “Life’s Not Out To Get You” but at least they present a strong rational for their 4.5/5 rating.
“Neck Deep has got the chops that has made them relevant in the punk scene that many say is fading. If these opinions have any factuality to their merit, than Neck Deep is just the band to swoop in and save the day” they say.
I have to agree that Life’s Not Out To Get You is a good album and it is very good in places. There are lovely hooks, bags of drive and tons of energy throughout the album. If you are a fan of bands like Green Day, All Time Low and Blink-182 you will love this album It is clear that Neck Deep are comfortable and competent and the album keeps you engaged most of the time.
As DIY Magazine points out Life’s Not out To Get You is beautifully engineered and produced. They describe the album as “as guiltily satisfying as you’d expect any feel-good, buoyant pop punk effort to be.” Therein lies the problem for this old codger. As someone old enough to have basked in the glories of the late 1970’s punk revolution I can’t help but feel that it’s all a little bit too nice.
Where is the anger, the angst and the bitterness? Where is the shredding of guitar and the heavy bass lines that categorise the punk bands of old. The very title of the album is a clue. Sorry neck Deep but Life is out to get you and you better be ready to spit in it’s eye and kick it in the nuts when it does come.
Don’t get me wrong, Life’s Not Out To Get You is a long way from the safe bland and boring crap that dominates the charts at present, but I prefer my punk to be more punk than pop. I prefer my punk to be angry and aggressive thats why Stray from The Paths Subliminal Criminal, also released yesterday is more likely to be in my headphones.
That said the new Neck Deep disc is a very enjoyable offering, a solid 7/10. I am certain that it will win Neck Deep a lot of airplay on 6 music and expand their growing audience. I look forward to hearing how some of the songs work out live when I see them at Reading festival in a couple of weeks time.