For Fans Of
Sydney’s Undercast have an excellent cover of The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’. That could be our full glowing endorsement of this four-piece and allow us to just leave it at that, but that would be a giant disservice to how solid the band’s new EP, ‘Temperamental’, actually delivers.
The group’s debut EP, ‘Welcome Home‘, was a strong effort, sure, but it glaringly showed the adolescence that nearly all bands go through in their early days. Therefore, it was to be expected. However, with EP Number 2: Electric Boogaloo, the band is starting to come out of that young, adolescent stage and into their golden years.
As such, this release is a serious step up for the boys.
Now of course, you can expect plenty of catchy hooks, harmonies and fast, double time moments in the band’s music. This is pop-punk after all and musically, this isn’t radical or attempting to redefine anything about the genre. Again, it is pop-punk after all, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad, no sir.
However, the one thing that always attracted this writer to the locals is that their singer, Michael Cross, actually sounds like he has a pair. Having a high-pitched voice is fine, and it can work really well a lot of the time, but when a genre pretty much defines itself by certain vocal styles, like pop-punk has, most bands inevitably sound the same. Undercast are arguably one of the few exceptions. The vocals here are never as high as their local and international peers, nor is it as whiny or as nasally as other bands.
While the production and mix is solid too, it’s the lyrics that perhaps show the biggest improvement over the predecessor release. Namely with ‘Hold Tight’, a real standout song that deals with broken homes, divorced parents and how to deal with those distant parental figures who say they love you, but are never ever there. Yeah, fuck those people.
Finally, in the EP’s title track, the band utilises screams (or unclean vocals, whatever you want to call them) really well, and while it’s a shame they don’t use it on any other songs, it displays that having some screams mixed into a wider sound can work real wonders. Hence why that song is the best track on the EP and one of the better tunes Undercast have, well except for the brilliant ‘Christopher Walken Fan Club‘. That shit will never be topped.
Undercast love their pop-punk. Undercast are a young band. Undercast are a great band with a great new EP. You should listen to Undercast. Go now, go listen to Undercast. Undercast…
1. Hold Tight