It is no secret that the world of pop-punk has been in a sorry state for the last few years. Too many bands seem to be writing with a bit too much pop and nowhere near enough punk; whilst many others have been limiting themselves by sticking to a well worn formula that feels stale and uninteresting. Fortunately, a new generation have entered the playing fields and are ready to shake things up again. In the past few months Spirit Level have written about bands such as ‘Camcorder’ and ‘Who Killed Nancy Johnson’ who have been generating a much needed breath of fresh air to the UK pop-punk scene.
Last month Manchester/Cumbria four-piece ‘Fight For Friday’ released their sophomore EP ‘Someone You Could Trust’ and boy are we happy to hear it. For anyone who complains that “they just don’t make them like they used to”, this is an EP that you have to hear. ‘Someone You Could Trust’ is a pure nostalgia trip the the early 00’s but that is in no way a criticism. Drawing influence from more recent bands such as ‘Knocked Loose’ and ‘The Story So Far’, there is enough hear that sounds up to date and original; but at the same time none of these 5 tracks would sound out of place on the soundtrack for games like ‘Burnout 3’ or ‘Tony Hawks Pro-Skater’.
Packed full of heavy riffs and catchy guitar hooks; ‘Fight For Friday’ have definitely brought enough punk to the table. There are moments on tracks such as ‘I Feel Bad, But You Should Feel Worse’ that have almost as much in common with early British Emo bands like ‘Funeral For A Friend’ and ‘Lost Prophets’. The quartet may be youngsters, but they have been playing together for a considerable amount of time now and it shows. Every member is used to their full potential without ever outstaying their welcome, but it the guitar hooks on ‘Life Hits You Hard’ and ‘Take It Or Leave It’ or the catchy bass riffs of ‘Target Practice’. Likewise, the backing vocals accompanying Seb Harper add more depth to an already established sound. Final track ‘Headache’ edges dangerously close to the cliched pop-punk ballad that seems to haunt every record that comes out at the moment and is by far the least original sounding song on the album, but it is still a decent song that stands head and shoulders above most of the competition.
‘Fight For Friday’ have the potential to release something really great in the future and although they may not be there yet, ‘Someone You Could Trust’ is definitely a step in the right direction.
Personal Highlight: Track 3, ‘I Feel Bad, But You Should Feel Worse’ is far and away the heaviest track on the record, but it succeeds in not sounding out of place. The hulking bass riff calls to mind early ‘Funeral For A Friend’ and ‘Reuben’ and the chorus is infectiously catchy. Meanwhile, the bridge breakdown crushes surprisingly hard and we have no doubt that this would be a highlight of any live set.
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