What We Signed Up For

Written by: PP on 20/01/2014 23:50:59

With an opening lead riff like this one, July are drawing immediate parallels to Yellowcard's breakthrough album "Ocean Avenue" on the title track for "What We Signed Up For". That's a killer riff, a ripping pop punk hook if there ever was one, the kind of songwriting that catches your attention instantly even if the song is merely playing on the background the first time you hear it. From here onwards, the album continues in a predictable polished pop punk manner, drawing comparisons to all the big names playing the cleaner, poppier style of pop punk, ranging from All Time Low and Hit The Lights to Mayday Parade, and of course, Yellowcard.

"What We Signed Up For" has its moments though. The opening track's lead, the bouncy and crunchy riffs of "West Coast Pimpin'", and of course The Wonder Years-esque "Secret Is A Sleazy Word" are all super catchy, and very fast pop punk songs with solid melodies brought by great hooks and lead riffs. The vocal harmonies are exactly what you'd expect them to be like if you've ever heard an album by any of the aforementioned bands, and the bright keyboards that make an entrance on occasion should draw your mind towards early Motion City Soundtrack records. That's all fine and dandy, but it also means July are short of an identity. There's only so far you can get by being a clone band, and that is unfortunately what July are: a Yellowcard clone minus the violins.

So despite its moments, "What We Signed Up For" is standard fare clean and polished pop punk that's missing the raw edge and the character that bands like The Wonder Years have brought into the genre in the last few years. The good news is that they keep their tempo at punk rock levels all the way through even though the singing is distinctly pop like Hit The Lights, which means lots of their songs will have enough energy to win you over just for that fact (and the solid riffs). But the question is, will this last to their next album? When they will inevitably slow down their songs, it just won't sound very interesting anymore. For now, it's acceptable, even good at times, so enjoy while it lasts.


Download: What We Signed Up For, Secret Is A Sleazy Word
For the fans of: Yellowcard, All Time Low, Hit The Lights, Mayday Parade, Motion City Soundtrack
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.11.2013
TDR Records

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