Neck Deep
Neck Deep


2.8
good

Review

by jesper STAFF
January 19th, 2024 | 30 replies


Release Date: 01/19/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: yay?

Isn’t the pace at which pop punk bands from the mid-2010s are turning into legacy acts a little scary? Sure, I might be projecting/refusing to accept that I was sixteen almost a full decade ago/attempting to find excuses to enjoy the most juvenile genre almost a full decade later, but Neck Deep doesn’t lie. While the Welsh outfit’s self-titled record isn’t bad, it mostly feels like a nice little throwback effort to tide everyone over before the inevitable endless string of anniversary tours starting next year.

Admittedly, it makes sense for Neck Deep to return to mildly fun, mindless pop punk: they have always been most proficient at taking genre tropes and injecting them with the energy their contemporaries lacked. Moreover, hardly anyone seemed to enjoy All Distortions…’ foray into riffless ‘90s radio rock paired with horrendously quirky lyrics. Much like the year it was released, this album just wasn’t a good time, but at the very least it did present a way forward for the band: something different, something to work towards (ambition?!). Unfortunately, Neck Deep fails to capitalise on this and exclusively retains that doomed album’s disappointingly unmemorable instrumentation. This brand new collection of songs might be the most energetic the band have sounded in, uh, almost a decade, but you’d be hard pressed to distinguish one riff from the other - let alone remember one once the album is over. To make matters worse, every song here is formulaic capital F: save for the mid-tempo rocker “It Won’t Be Like This Forever”, Neck Deep is a fast-paced verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus affair with no space to breathe. As a result, everything feels interchangeable, and there is little reason to listen to this album as an album: it truly is just a bunch of same-y pop punk tracks stacked on top of each other in a trench coat to pose as an album…

…and yet, I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t feel good to hear Ben Barlow yelling about heartbreak, desperation, and (naturally) why monarchy sucks over some energetic music again. “Can’t Kick Up The Roots” and “Kali Ma” ruled my 2015, so it’s quite nice having some new stuff that approximates the vibes of these cuts - I’m not entirely immune to nostalgia either, believe it or not. Besides this, most of Neck Deep makes for fun summer-playlist additions: sure, every song sounds the same, but every song is perfectly enjoyable as a standalone three-minute experience. “Heartbreak Of The Century”s chorus is undeniably catchy; “We Need More Bricks” is an absolute ripper as a whole; “Sort Yourself Out” features some genuinely funny lyrics - unfortunately, all of these highlights are diminished by the context of Neck Deep. It’s a pity, it’s a shame, but Neck Deep clearly don’t need another great record: I’ll be at that Life’s Not Out To Get You anniversary show, and I won’t mind hearing some of these new songs as padding for the show. Pop punk lives on, and perhaps we should thank nostalgia and diminishing attention spans for that. Yay?




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user ratings (53)
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Shamus248 CONTRIBUTOR (3)
"At least can I get a little something to remember?"...



Comments:Add a Comment 
JesperL
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2024


5439 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

most fun 2.8 ever, maybe

SlothcoreSam
January 19th 2024


6194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nope.

gravityswitch
January 19th 2024


1874 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review jesp, I've only listened to the singles but I'm already feeling the same as you: why bother with this album when you have Life's Not Out To Get You already?

Odal
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2024


1965 Comments


Great review

Most of these bands just aren't built to last. You either go The Wonder Years route or the PUP route, but I can't really think of a pop-punk band that lingers purely in pop-punk and have it work out for more than two or three albums lol

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2024


5439 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

thx besties! this will def go down as one of the albums of 2024 lol, curious to see if they'll stick around for another one. kinda doubt it tbh

JayEnder
January 19th 2024


19716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Had fun with this but I already remember nothing about it lol

Tundra
January 19th 2024


9608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just feels like autopilot for them unfortunately, "Lifes Not Out to Get You" was a lightning in a bottle moment that they cant get back to.

Spec
January 19th 2024


39371 Comments


First listen sounded pretty good.

Ebola
January 19th 2024


4506 Comments


"Sure, I might be projecting/refusing to accept that I was sixteen almost a full decade ago"

Fuck, don't do this to me. Great review.

Feather
January 20th 2024


10083 Comments


Funny enough, I thought peace and the panic was their most recent album. Totally missed that they had a clunker in 2020. Nice review but I will likely pass on this. Life’s not out to get you was a good album though agreed.

Colton
January 20th 2024


15201 Comments


coworker is travelling 352km to see these guys

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2024


5439 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

lol thx ebola, time rly do be timing



ppl traveling to see live music they like is always wholesome

ghostboobs
January 20th 2024


123 Comments


love to see the kids from ten years ago having to realize that 2010s pop punk fucking sucks

JayEnder
January 21st 2024


19716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lyrics are so bad on this

Purpose
January 21st 2024


72 Comments


Tbh, i actually really dug All Distortions. Havent listened all the way through this, but it sounded like more of the same. they prob just need to change up the formula tbh

JayEnder
January 21st 2024


19716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Distortions was just flatout garbage. At least this album has some catchy tunes but it's still a far cry from their LNOTGY heyday

Hendoi
January 21st 2024


740 Comments


Didn't these twinky pommies get their name from a title fight song?

gravityswitch
January 21st 2024


1874 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Can confirm it's very meh

vult
January 21st 2024


2267 Comments


The most watered down and overrated pop punk band I can think of outside maybe Turnstile

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2024


1919 Comments


Yay for a jesp review

Album is not that fun tho…



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