Neck Deep - Rain in July EP
Record Label: We Are Triumphant Records
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Pop-punk is the rain cloud of music, because it’s probably one of the most saturated genres out there. There are so many pop-punk bands who sound almost identical, which makes it hard for them compete, essentially. It’s not their faults, because there are way too many pop-punk bands out there. And just like raindrops, it’s hard to tell them apart sometimes. Some bands end up creating a hurricane, such as powerhouses The Wonder Years, or The Story So Far, and some are just a drizzle, like Handguns, and UK’s Neck Deep. This band is a relatively new band, this marks their first EP release, Rain In July. Well, at least, label debut. So how is the EP? It’s not terrible, but it’s very generic, and does end up going into some of the pop-punk clichés. It’s forgivable for a new band to do this, but I hope this band does “mature” a bit for their next release.
The EP starts off with “Kick It,” a minute and a half intro track that really does nothing for me at all. It sounds like a typical pop-punk track, and to be honest, they sound like the poor man’s The Story So Far. At least, their vocalist gives me that impression. Next track “Silver Lining” is a bit more interesting; the musicianship is brilliant in this track, and throughout the EP, the instrumentation is actually quite interesting, save for a couple tracks that I’m not too crazy about. The lyrics on “Silver Lining” are rather optimistic, but they do remind of The Story So Far, which is disappointing, because this band is way too generic for them to really stand out to me. Third track “What Did You Expect?” totally changes the mood of the record, and the song comes off spiteful, despite how they try to be clever. Ultimately, this song comes off as a typical “girl screws over guy” song, and these are way too common in pop-punk. The unnecessary intro was the first cliché, but here’s the next one.
Fourth track “A Part of Me” is the third cliché, because it’s the cliché acoustic track. While this can either fail, or work, this surprisingly works. It shows the vocalist at his most vulnerable, which I like a lot. The lyrics are quite sincere, and that makes the singer’s voice very sincere, too. It sounds very real, and the addition of a female vocalist does put the song into perspective, and it makes the song a little less of a cliché, because that’s a bit different. I can applaud them for that, certainly. However, the EP kicks back up with “I Couldn’t Wait to Leave Six Months Ago,” which is the first song I ever listened to by these guys. It’s an enjoyable track, and my favorite on the EP, besides “A Part of Me.”
This leads me to the last track, “All Hype, No Heart.” This is a 42-second outro track that features a more hardcore or easycore tinged sound. It could work if this was an interlude, but it’s not. It ends the EP on a really weird note, especially very unmemorable and generic lyrics.
Overall, this EP isn’t half bad; it’s generic, yes, but shows promise. Pop-punk is a genre that keeps getting more saturated every day, and it’s hard for bands to stay relevant. This follows the same problem I had with new Handguns’ record; it was generic, and childish. This is worth a couple listens, but the lasting value is quite low on this, because there are so many bands who have the same sound, and who do it quite better.