For Fans Of
New Jersey has always been a strong state in regards to pop punk. Bringing us bands such as Lifetime, Saves The Day, Midtown, and more recently Man Overboard and I Call Fives. Settle For Less are another one of the newer bands stepping up to the plate and putting their name out there in the pop punk world.
When the band uploaded demo songs onto their myspace profile earlier in the year, it showed signs of great promise, making me eager to hear the finished product. Recorded by Vince Ratti (The Wonder Years, Balance And Composure, Saosin) in his Skylight Studios, the EP sound is absolute quality, and the wait to hear the completed EP was definitely worth every moment of it.
The band’s sound could be described as the “Pennsylvania pop punk sound”, which as of late has been championed by the likes of Title Fight, Daylight and Balance And Composure. The main characteristic features of this sound are the rough vocal delivery, paired with fast, borderline melodic hardcore guitar lines and fast drum work. The opening track “Brandywoods” encompasses all of the mentioned elements, which would lead to the obvious Title Fight and Daylight comparisons. “Bridesburg” takes a slower approach than the previous track, hinting at more of an emo influence. The re-recording of this track is miles ahead of the demo version that was online earlier in the year, definitely worth checking out. The build up to the end of the track is impressive, showing that the band has the ability to write an interesting riff or two.
“Alden Park” goes back to the faster style of pop punk, and this track is a lot catchier and accessible than the previous tracks. Drummer Will Yost really pulls this piece together with his impressive drum work, and while some listeners may overlook the guitar riff featured throughout the song, it sounds perfect for the style the band is aiming at. The records closing track “Greetings” reminds me heavily of Only Boundaries era Balance And Composure. The song highlights the band’s vocalist Alex Lombardi at his raw, and intense peak belting out the line “I’ve been shackled by the hands and the feet”. One of the great things about this release is how well everything flows together. The transitions between songs are spot on.
It is also worth mentioning that the pre-order for this release was only $5, and it contained the CD, a shirt and other bonuses. I doubt that you can even get a can of coke and a packet of chips for $5 these days, so this was great value. Either/Or Records are doing great things for pop punk at the moment, it’s worth checking this label out.
A very solid release from the band, hinting at the potential they have to release something great in the future. While it isn’t quite going to do for the band what "Kingston" did for Title Fight, it should put them on peoples radars and generate interest for what they do next. Either/Or are onto a winner with this band.
3. Alden Park