Neck Deep - Rain in July EP
Record Label: We Are Triumphant Records
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Some bands are certainly better than others, it’s a little disappointing when you can hear bands having a tough time shaking their influences – much like the UK-based Neck Deep. Like a slightly less catchy Such Gold or not as lyrically tactful The Story So Far, the band’s hardcore-tinged jams feel like a prime example of this genre pushing itself to the brink of pure rehashing. But while a bit too inspired by a slew of bands for its own good, Rain in July shows a band more than able to construct a solid batch of sometimes gritty, sometimes glossy pop-punk jams despite some noticeable ups and downs.
Some people hate samples to open a record, but using a quote from Back to the Future, both here and again to start the EP’s closer “All Hype, No Heart”, is more than fine by me. “Kick It” summons easycore powers to the tune of crunching guitars and a laidback tempo that directs us to bounce even if we’re driving in crowded traffic on the freeway. If there’s one particular thing this EP does well, it’s that it gets you into the music with slicing rhythms and kick-fueled accentuations. “What Did You Expect?” amps up the grit in terms of guitar tone, though the band’s pop-leanings keep the melodies and slightly awkward lyricism (‘You went and fucked this up because you couldn’t keep your legs shut’) that comes across much more spiteful than angsty.
The acoustic number “A Part of Me” is, as cliche as it might be, a decent enough subduing from the double-time gallops and bouncing choruses of the other six tracks. It’s here that we hear the vocals at perhaps their most raw and passionate form – the shout-rooted notes have a bit of a shake and vulnerability to them that beg for us to drown ourselves in the heartbreak of these lyrics. Otherwise though, it’s a fairly straightforward, violin-tinged track that again runs middle of the road. “I Couldn’t Wait to Leave 6 Months Ago” saves the day though, pulling us in with synced up punches before pummeling us in a percussion-soaked frenzy and a side of smooth bass rolls to compliment the ebb and flow of the fast-slow, verse-chorus shifts. What sells this track though is the slow-jam bridge with some pretty memorable melodies and a slightly brooding percussive attack. “All Hype, No Heart” ends the album in a strange fashion though, blasting through forty some seconds of double-time, bubblegum hardcore – and I mean that with all due respect. The brief, yet full-frontal blast of the track culminates the record with the instruments firing on all cylinders – only to leave us with the not so memorable line of ‘Go fuck yourself’. It forces me to ask why this track wasn’t put somewhere else in the sequencing, if only because it makes for a rather sour ending.
Though still noticeably young in their execution, Neck Deep’s new EP shows further evidence of crowding in the genre. Sure, Neck Deep makes it fast, furious and often fun just like a number of other bands before them – but you can’t really blame them at this point. It’s not all quite perfect, but Rain in July is enjoyable enough that the downfalls aren’t so glaring enough to be overlooked if you’re simply looking for a good time.
This EP is FAR better than the review. It's a matter of taste and I just disagree with the write up. For me it's something fresh, because I don't listen to TSSF and I think Such Gold are just ok. This EP blew my mind with the intensity it brought and it deserves more listens around the globe.
Honestly i think this EP is better than the 2 reviews on AP suggest. It's not that new, original, and may have cliche's but they do it better than other doubt releases i've seen. And they show a lot of promise. I'm digging this EP and am going to be watching this band for new material.
I feel this band deserves more recognition on the west side of the pond. Fair enough the US has tons of pop-punk bands, but Neck Deep are definitely the uprising stars of the UK game. "Cliche" or not, it's hard to find a decent UK pop-punk band that could go far, and Neck Deep are definitely one of the bands leading the pack. Very impressive debut EP, looking forward to these boys making waves in the future.