Act As One

No Looking Back

Written by: PP on 16/03/2010 21:52:35

Act As One are a good example of the two year delay effect of popular music in practice. Remember when Set Your Goals begun snowballing shortly after the release of "Mutiny!", thanks to a raw, energetic sound that was the polar opposite from the over-polished, overproduced, and frankly, boring pop punk bands all trying to be the next Fall Out Boy (in vein)? That was around two or three years ago, and as of late I've run into a whole lot of bands who sound more or less identical to the first Set Your Goals record. "No Looking Back" by Act As One is one of these records.

On surface, Act As One play raw, eccentric pop punk that recalls the golden late 90s of the genre, with gang shouts and crunchy guitars in place, flavored with breakdowns for the mosh fanatics and fast, circle-pit friendly d-beat parts. The singer's got one of those slightly emo nasal clean voices that's perfect for singing along with, and although the band are not infectiously catchy, there are still plenty of choruses you should pick up on rather easily. Instead of a dual clean vocal harmonic like SYG, Act As One have a weird metalcore growler/screamer making the odd appearance, who sounds completely out of place, because AAO's sound is nowhere near the semi-metalcore of A Day To Remember. I'm guessing they read under their list of influences as well, however.

That's all fine and dandy but as is all too often the case with clone bands, Act As One are almost completely missing the same energy and joy with which Set Your Goals plays each and every one of their songs. There are a few bright moments scattered, where it actually feels like Act As One are playing with passion and conviction, mostly on the fastest tracks, but overall, their expression seems rather....worn down and unimaginative, even by pop punk standards. But, and that's a big but(t HE HE), if you think Set Your Goals should be releasing albums at a rate of three per year, then by all means, check out "No Looking Back". It's a decent record that's just completely unsurprising and unambitious in nature, which drags its marks down somewhat.


Download: Out Of Options, Full Count
For the fans of: Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong
Listen: Myspace

Release date January 2010
Capeside Records

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