Forgotten Roots

You'll Never Win EP

Written by: TL on 25/06/2010 23:27:21

When last I heard from Newcastle four-piece Forgotten Roots, it was when they asked me to share some thoughts on their debút EP, though it was released two years prior to them asking. I complied, checking out the EP and curiously found it to be a nice and youthful blend of influences like The Gaslight Anthem and The Alkaline Trio, and the end result became this review. This year they're after me again, although with a somewhat more timely request for the review of their recently released second EP, called "You'll Never Win".

Oddly, the influences from the bands I just mentioned are hardly to be heard on this new disc, where all four tracks see Forgotten Roots kick it somewhat more pop-punk than flat out punk, borrowing tricks tried and tested by bands like You Me At Six, just to name one. The result is brighter songs with more emphasis on dynamics and attempts at cleaner singing. Now while I can understand why a young band like this would want to branch out and escape the confinement of their influences, there are a few drawbacks to this new approach. On the darker, grittier previous EP, the mix and the vocals, both still audibly of the rougher sort, fitted the expression, but on here it feels a bit too garage-ish to really lift the songs. You can tell however, that the song writing has become more accomplished, and fans of the genre will recognize many familiar elements being re-interpreted delightfully enough.

The truth is though, that while there's technical improvement to be spotted and new elements added to the soundscape, Forgotten Roots have jumped into stylistic waters where the competition is stronger, and where it's hard to excuse the shortcomings of production with being a punk band. I know it sounds weird, but while I like this direction, and the improvements in composition, I still think that the finish of the recording makes it all sounds like a band that's more generic pop-punk than Forgotten Roots were before. Hence I don't think the larger audience needs to get excited for these boys just yet, but I'll say this much. If they are fortunate enough to earn a better production for this new direction of theirs, and if they can maybe sharpen up the singing just a little bit, I think these songs are more likely to exhilarate audiences in the future. If that happens, all they need are some ideas to really make the pop-punk direction their own, lest they be beaten to the punch by the mass of competitors.


Download: Sink Or Swim, Lights
For The Fans Of: Kyoto Drive, Fastlane, You Me At Six

Release Date 2010

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