Despite only being a band for three years, Welsh five-piece Neck Deep have undeniably grown into one of the biggest names in Pop-Punk considering the band won a Kerrang! award for ‘Best British Newcomer’ just last year and they’re already playing on the main stage at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival. Their success only grew when they signed to Hopeless Records (All Time Low, Taking Back Sunday, The Wonder Years etc) in August 2013 and released their debut album Wishful Thinking in January 2014. This album received mixed reactions- some seemed to love it whilst some felt it was different to their previous EPs (Rain In July (2012) and A History Of Bad Decisions (2013)) and that they were ‘trying too hard’.
However, two years later from their pivotal Hopeless Records signing they are releasing their second studio album Life’s Not Out To Get You and it definitely has different vibes to Wishful Thinking whilst blending the nostalgia of RIJ/AHOBD.
‘Citizens Of Earth’ opens with the band joking around with each other before fading into a guitar riff, a fast, heavy beat and shouting “This is for the for the lost… and rejects and anybody looking for a purpose” and then singing “It’s just a matter of opinion when it comes down to it, to tell the truth I never listened”. This song is snappy, compelling and very reminiscent of hardcore. The song ends with “Fuck Neck Deep mate, they’re shit. Ben’s dad owns a record label” showing that they’re still the humorous Neck Deep we know.
‘Can’t Kick Up The Roots’ was the first single from the album and it did extremely well, making radio A lists everywhere and it currently has close to a million views on Youtube. Plain and simple, this song has it all and is very much so the pop-punk anthem of the summer (and possibly the year) for many. Catchy riffs, an incredibly catchy chorus and it even has an encouraging sing-a-long bridge chorus after the bridge. The song’s about growing up and having fun doing so, “I remember the football games, the first time that I got laid and that time J broke his finger drinking by the lake”, which continues to show Neck Deep’s tendency to be able to write relatable music to fit their audience.
‘December’ changes the tone on this album, following suit to ‘A Part Of Me’ and ‘Candour’. This song is a love song, but a sad one. This song will definitely be a big song for the band with the sad chorus “I hope you get your ballroom floor, your perfect house with rose red doors, I’m the last thing you remember it’s been a long lonely December”. The calm instrumentals and gentle singing make this a lovely song that many fans will feel empathetic about.
‘I Hope This Comes Back To Haunt You’ begins slow with lighter instrumentals as Ben sings “I never thought it would be this hard, it feels like you walked through me, I hope this comes back to haunt you”. This song is bound to be a fan favourite as it pairs well executed catchy pop-punk with repeatable lyrics.
Life’s Not Out To Get You is a huge step up for the band, including everything from the hardcore/punk elements throughout ‘Citizens Of Earth’ to the acoustic love song ‘December’ and pop punk anthem ‘Gold Steps’.
Life’s Not Out To Get You is available on August 14th via Hopeless Records