High On Fire
Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN - 22/11
With The Punches
It's Not The End Of The World
Written by: PP on 31/03/2011 00:25:39
"Is there some kind of strategy that's never been explained to me on how you should deal when everything you love comes crashing down?"
And yet people ask what it is about With The Punches that makes them the most exciting pop-hardcore band around, a title which they've held firmly onto ever since the release of "Keep it Going" EP in 2009. It's small tidbits and honest lyrics like these that make all the difference in the world, especially because vocalist Jesse Vedala has an uncanny ability to twist, screw, and turn his lines into irresistible verses and choruses that get you off your feet at live shows. The passion is palpable throughout, evident in the ever-surprising tempo changes, insanely good riffs and hooks, and an uncompromising breakneck speed tempo that elevates the melodies into the category collectively known as godhood. You know, the pigeonhole term for songs that stick to your head for weeks, for months, for years. For melodies that influence lives, inspire people to pick up instruments to form a similar band, truly life-changing stuff.
That's basically the effect "Keep it Going" EP had on anyone who gave it a couple of spins. It took two long years to follow it up, and this is the part where I use the cliché expression but the wait was totally worth it, because "It's Not The End Of The World" EP is every bit as good as its predecessor. It's perhaps not as obviously catchy with super-sized sing-along chunks verse after verse, but that's because With The Punches didn't want to write the same record twice. It is an evolutionary record which has achieved at least the following: even more awesome hooks, a riff-driven sound that recalls the approach taken by Such Gold on their equally great EP, threefold increase in tempo which has improved from breakneck speed into supersonic all the while the guitars have become more technical and intricate, and an overall much improved and matured songwriting department which no longer relies solely on forced breakdowns to incite mayhem live.
This, my friends, is how pop-hardcore is meant to sound like. This, dear reader, is the genre represented by one of the very best bands in it.
You thought The Wonder Years were catchy on their latest record? Think again. It's extremely difficult to explain on paper, but the amount of catchphrases and lines you'll remember from each song is absolutely immense. The sound is explosive, but not necessarily in-your-face like in hardcore, instead keeping a good distance to allow for manic circle pit action during the - did I mention this already? - ridiculously, ridiculously, ridiculously catchy choruses. It's only shortcoming is that there are only five tracks and 14 minutes of amazing pop-hardcore instead of a full album's worth. To think that this band is STILL unsigned is one of the most significant oversights of the recording industry, of which this record is yet again sweet, sweet evidence for.
Download: Hulk Hands, No Blood No Foul
For the fans of: The Wonder Years, Same As Sunday, Such Gold, Me vs Hero, Handguns
Release date 04.03.2011