The Oversight

Far From Gone EP

Written by: TL on 13/08/2014 16:15:43

Although the States have been spoiled with pop-punk bands emerging non-stop on both the east and west coast for quite a while now, it's almost a relief to me when I find one these days that doesn't align with the whole easycore movement in one way or the other. One example of such refreshment is The Oversight, a quartet of Berklee students (yes, that Berklee) with base in Boston who just released their new EP "Far From Gone", on which the band deploys piano keys and tasteful violin and cello alongside pop-punk's staple guitars for a sound that rather recalls earlier and bigger genre successes like Something Corporate and The Rocket Summer.

The EP opens with an intro-track of yearning chords and muffled vocalising before an urgent spoken word bit let's you know that you're at a point in your playlist when a new release is about to begin, and it hints of confidence and ambition in the record in a way that kind of surprises you when you realise you're not in for a full album. It quickly becomes apparent though, for instance via the affected lyricism of third track "Love Is A Fiction", that this is a young group and that the content reflects it, but at the same time the boys have clearly done their homework because the songwriting here leaves little to be desired.

"Love Is A Fiction" displays this decently, though it quivers on the verge of corny with its sombre tempo and gets ambivalent results out of using more gravelly vocals in the middle - supposedly to provide some grit and grounding, but I like the idea at last. Regardless, if you for some reason listened to this track first and had some doubts, tracks two and five - "Black And White" and "Far From Gone" should lay them all to rest, being examples of the obvious songwriting excellence one tends to hear from musicians that know exactly what they're doing. Both sport anthemic, repetitive refrains, but have enough subtle variations in their arrangements to avoid any staleness, and the result is more singalongable than an episode of Glee. The title track in particular - which has The Dangerous Summer frontman AJ Perdomo providing some guest vocals - builds the kind of chorus and pre-chorus that are likely to have you belting along with all your might if you ever hear it while being a bit woozy.

The only remaining track is the fourth cut "When 5 Am Turns", which I'm guessing is the first song the band put out, and you can tell that it has less impact, and although it's a decent track tugged in here between its better siblings, it's also apparent that a release with songs of that calibre would deserve at least a grade lower than what the other songs here reach out towards. It is however a short and forgiveable dip in quality on an EP that shows a high level of songwriting for such a young band, and while it's much easier said than done, The Oversight simply need to hold their balance as they move onwards and upwards from here. More standout nuances would never hurt in a crowded pop-punk scene, but the crucial thing is that the band retains the nerve in the vocals that makes you believe them, putting you right there in young American life the way bands like Yellowcard or Cartel have grown big doing. It's clear that fans who require their bands to be tearing out pages of the rule book with or without good reason will not be in The Oversight's target audience, but hopefully the band will remain unfazed by this, because for those of us that are not allergic to sentimentality and who prefer our pop-punk bands with wide eyes on the horizon rather than frantic eyes on the pit, this is exactly the kind of EP we want to see followed up with a nicely refined full length as soon as the band is ready.

8

Download: Far From Gone, Black And White, Love Is A Fiction
For The Fans Of: Something Corporate, The Rocket Summer, Mayday Parade, The Crash Years
Listen: facebook.com/TheOversightBand

Release date 22.07.2014
Self-released

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