I’ll be the first to take back every assumption and opinion I’ve ever had about Neck Deep after listening to this album. I have always found Neck Deep to be slightly mediocre, just another pop punk band jumping on the bandwagon of its rising popularity and being over-hyped throughout the internet. I was reluctant to listen to the album at first, but I have never been gladder for an album to enter my life.
Losing Teeth kicks off the eagerly anticipated debut in true pop punk style with group vocals carrying lovelorn lyrics, propelled along with infectious guitar hooks and the crash of drums to bang your head along to whilst throwing your fists in the air. Crushing Grief (No Remedy) speeds up the tempo after a slow start with a drum and bass line so fierce it’ll set your heart racing faster than a heart attack, and guitars so exhilarating your body jerks and sways uncontrollably to the pounding melody.
Staircase Wit and Damsel in Distress channel the band’s influence of Blink 182 and New Found Glory coupled with modern bands such as The Wonder Years. It has chugging chords that wouldn’t be out of place on NFG’s hit album Sticks and Stones, channelling harmonious vocals both Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge would be proud of and heartfelt, touching lyrics that The Wonder Years wish they had wrote.
Zoltar Speaks and Say What You Want have a very different aura surrounding them altogether. They are both quick, volatile and brash numbers than punch you straight in the face with visceral vocals and lyrics, an assault of sneering guitars and an aggressive bass line sucking you under the surface of the song. Before you know it both of these tracks are over in a flash leaving you breathless and waiting for more.
Closing track (and by far my favourite) Candour slows the whole album with echoing vocals resonating against simple, acoustic chords. The lyrics are touching in a way never seen by this band; forget ex girlfriends, forget friends, even forget pizza – these lyrics hold family values and deep mental struggles that are heartbreakingly relatable. The introduction of female vocals and the steady crescendo reached by the rest of the band makes this an effortless breathtaking track, leaving the album on a sophisticated and perfected high note.
Neck Deep are certainly not just some other pop-punk band and they truly deserve to be at the forefront of pop punk’s rising popularity with this album. It shows differentiality against their back catalogue, it shows their passions and strengths and most of all, it shows their raw talents and love for the music they make.