Review Summary: Wishful Thinking during the last half.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
The debut LP of the band Neck Deep is an album that has high points and low points. That is the best short sentence summary I can provide. 'Wishful Thinking,' is an album that has many influences laced in it's musicality, and the blend the band adds is at times very fresh, but at times overly repetitive. The album is quick and spread out over twelve songs. These songs are often structured in a similar fashion, verse, pre chorus, chorus, verse, chorus, maybe a bridge, end chorus. This formula works well on some tracks, but can be repetitive over a full length album.
'Losing Teeth' is the first song, and really sets the pace for the whole album. It is a moderate tempo with catchy, smooth vocals. The lyrics are wishful, happy, and trying to extend progress in the lyricists life. Overall this song is a great opener for this particular album. The next two songs have strong lead parts over chord progressions with similar and predictable song structures. Track four, 'Damsel in Distress," was the first song that had variations in patterns of guitar picking and drumming, which had my hopes rise that maybe this album will be more interesting to listen to. Then the next four songs are very similar and often times lost my interest. 'Zoltair Speaks' has the album title embedded in the lyrics, "let this sink in, wishful thinking," in case any one was wondering. 'Growing Pains' finally has a bass part shine for a few seconds, intertwined with a decent drum pattern.
It was not until track nine, 'Sweet Nothings,' where I think this band gave an insight into how talented the music can be. The song has a sweet with quick, blasting drums. The rolling drums throughout the verse really build up to a solid chorus. The next verse has great syncopation and rhythm, with the drums mixed in grooves and blasts while the guitars provide a slower palm-muted variations. The distortion finally comes off in the bridge and the vocalist calls out "Baby do you think of me," while an echo of this is sung back. The song ends with a solid bang. From track ten to twelve, this band actually shows a bit of musicality in their songs. 'What Do You Expect' has a bridge with guitarists bouncing riffs off one another and a half-paced chorus, bringing more variation to the song. 'Black Pages' features a change in tempo at the mid-point of the song. Closing track, 'Candour,' is very mellow with single picked notes ringing out without any sort of distortion. The harmonies between the vocalist and featured guest are more dynamic, adding a great feel to the ballad.
Overall this album is a decent listen, but nothing to redefine the genre. The album takes too long to get interesting, but I do recommend tracks 9-12, these tracks could create a solid EP. 'Wishful Thinking' is an album that fans of Four Year Strong, The Offspring, and other pop punks acts can enjoy.