Neck Deep
Life's Not Out To Get You



by Shamus248 CONTRIBUTOR (112 Reviews)
August 15th, 2015 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Neck deep in opulence.

Neck Deep means business. This true blue pop punk quintet has got the chops that has made them relevant in the punk scene that many say is fading. If these opinions have any factuality to their merit, than Neck Deep is just the band to swoop in and save the day.

So, "Wishful Thinking" was a good debut for the Welsh pop punkers, but did their intentions to quit work and school pay off on the follow-up effort? The answer - a resounding yes. If you like that in your face 90s punk accentuated by blink-182, Sum 41 and New Found Glory, then you are going to love every second of this record. Driven by the congenial vocals of frontman Ben Barlow, and the catchy as hell hooks of guitarist Lloyd Roberts, among the others of course, this group has deservedly gone from Warped Tour newcomers to Warped Tour headliners and beyond in the span of a year.

It is impossible not to succumb to opening track "Citizens of Earth." Opening with a recording of the group talking amidst a barking dog, the group take a nimble approach to amuse the listener and set the positive and up-tempo pace this masterpiece encompasses. "Kali Ma" is my personal favorite on this record and furthermore, my favorite of their skewed yet stand-out discography. It's not just up-tempo, not only driven by great hooks and above competent drumming, it has this flair to its merit, where it comes off as being hell bent on keeping the listener's undivided attention.

And with that being said, this is a recurring attribute this album proudly upholds. Every track plays like one that wants you to bang your head. Alluring vocals, great guitarists, solid drumming and above average lyrics? Sign me up!

"Gold Steps" plays a bit like a song you'd hear from The Story So Far, instrumentation-wise, but lyrically you can differentiate once you hear Barlow's witty and fast paced vocals. ("The walls are caving in again/Happens every now and then/Always got me feeling like I'm f***ed.") Lyrically, it's above average and Barlow performs it in picture perfect form, so as to keep the pace moving steadily along and not detracting the listener at any point.

Another great quality this album manifests? Confidence. Gallons and gallons of confidence and previously untapped potential now surfacing to become the heart of this record. In the true spirit of punk, Neck Deep have laid the groundwork for what kind of band they wanted to be, and now they've got the bragging rights that will be the envy of all their contemporaries. At least for the foreseeable future. It's unfathomably dangerous to contemplate what could befall these guys in the long run.

So, taking things back to the music aspect, you have tracks like "Serpents", which opens with a crooning Barlow backed by some eerie distortion. This group's penchant for making music that stays fresh in your mind is nothing short a good sign. "December" is another great epitomizer of the equally catchy softer side of the group's musicality. Albeit, it lyrically could have been just as successful if it played like a fast paced up tempo rocker. But, it's actually better this way. A bit of diversity is what can save the genre. Even if the lyricism gets a little consistent with its predecessors, the group shows they can perpetuate a variety of approaches to their songcraft.

In conclusion, I think you've gotten the gist of what I think about this record by now. This record is one of the best records to grace the airwaves in 2015, across all genres. Kick back, hit play and you'll see why these guys are more than just punk saviors. Neck Deep will be the group that carries the genre out of obscurity as they soar towards the stars.

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user ratings (518)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • TBH717 (4)
    The torch of pop punk has finally been passed....

    iChuckles (4.5)
    Life's certainly not out to get Neck Deep....

    TheFlatsFan09 (4.5)
    This album is a game changer for Neck Deep, from the mix of old school poppy punk choruses...

    lewisfisher (4.5)
    Pop Punk done incredibly well...

  • L1vE4Th1S (3.5)
    Energic riffs, great vocal melodies and plenty of emotions make this cd a must buy for all...

    AugustAir (3.5)
    Are we witnessing the birth of another pop-punk titan?...

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 15th 2015


Album Rating: 3.0

Generic pop punk but also very good generic pop punk

August 15th 2015


Great album, posd.

August 15th 2015


This band is the absolute worst.

August 15th 2015


Album Rating: 3.0

No that's Man Overboard


April 22nd 2024


Album Rating: 3.5

this rips

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