For Fans Of
Neck Deep clearly realise the importance of a strong debut album. They have dabbled and practiced with a few EPs, but have really come out swinging on ‘Wishful Thinking.’ Granted they are really just offering up some pretty straight forward pop-punk, but it is catchy and fun, and that is the point of pop-punk.
If anything it’s kind of nice to hear some new blood performing the genre so well. Opener ‘Losing Teeth’ shows that the group have a good sense of melody and aren’t afraid to chuck in some harder gutter punk touches as well. It’s like being transported back to when the ‘American Pie 2’ soundtrack was actually a really fun listen. ‘Crushing Grief (No Remedy)’ is the exact type of song you would have playing over a montage of you and your friends getting drunk and trying to pick up.
The group wear their influences on their sleeves with tracks like ‘Zoltar Speaks’, a song that is old school Blink 182, Taking Back Sunday and New Found Glory all seamlessly pushed together like some sort of pop-punk homage before getting a little bit more NOFX on ‘Growing Pains’.
With the exception of a few failed hardcore moments, Neck Deep keep things pretty down the pop-punk line, relying more so on their catchy melodies and sing-a-long chorus lines to distract from the musical monotony. Surprisingly, the shortest track on the record, the one minute long ‘Say What You Want’, seems to be the most heartfelt, possibly due to the longing subject matter of weighty and melodic guitar tones.
The record ends on a slower number with some beautiful female backing vocals in ‘Candour’. You could almost see it as an "insert string section here" moment but let’s give the band the benefit of the doubt and assume that this diversity is a small sign of future progression.
Neck Deep have put the right foot forward on their debut. This record is one that lovers of pop-punk throughout the years will find something familiar in and more than likely enjoy. Step two for the band is now to create their own identity within the genre on album number two.
1. Losing Teeth
2. Crushing Grief (No Remedy)
3. Staircase Wit
4. Damsel In Distress
5. Zoltar Speaks
6. Growing Pains
7. Say What You Want
9. Sweet Nothings
10. What Did You Expect?
11. Blank Pages