Artist: Neck Deep
Album: Wishful Thinking
Release Date: January 13th, 2014
It’s 2014 and every other band you hear is another pop punk band. The genre is completely oversaturated and it’s hard for new bands to come out and set themselves apart. I guess Neck Deep has been doing this for themselves. They recently signed to Hopeless Records, have a couple of big tours coming up and seem to be getting better every day.
Before listening to Wishful Thinking, I had only listened to Neck Deep once or twice and wrote them off as a really weak version of The Story So Far, but I think they’ve done a good job of shaking that comparison. The two bands still share similarities, especially vocally, but Neck Deep doesn’t sound like a boring clone anymore.
This album doesn’t do a lot for me, personally, but I’ll start out by focusing on what I do like. “Losing Teeth” is a solid track about growing up and going forward that any pop punk band around would have loved to open their record with. On the track, “Staircase Wit,” Neck Deep shows off some interesting guitar work with a lead that repeats throughout that I can’t get enough of. A couple of other standout tracks are “Damsel in Distress” and “Say What You Want.” I particularly like the latter because it’s only one minute long, so it never overstays its welcome and the execution is perfect. My favorite track on the album, though, is “Mileage.” It’s a song that talks about how everyone wants to leave home and do something, but once you do, all you want it to be home- they’re never ungrateful for the success they’ve earned.
While Wishful Thinking has its shining moments, as a whole, it felt a bit bland. The weakest point of the album for me is the new recording of “What Did You Expect?” It just doesn’t hold up when compared to the old version.
If you are a big fan of pop punk, you’ll probably eat this album up and love every second of it. Don’t go into this expecting something groundbreaking; I don’t think that’s what Neck Deep was going for anyway.
Neck Deep shows a lot of potential and promise with their debut album, so keep your eye on them. (By Nathan Cornell)
For fans of: Handguns, Major League, The Story So Far, Man Overboard