As It Is

This Mind Of Mine EP

Written by: TL on 24/08/2014 19:18:36

In the recent history of pop-punk, New Found Glory's self-titled album from 2000 and Fall Out Boy's "Take This To Your Grave" from 2003 figure as a stylistically related duo of albums that a considerable portion of fans hold in infinitely high regard, to the point where you can depend on these people to often speak passionately about how nothing those bands do will ever amount to the same standards of those records. They simply captured a moment in the genre that had a certain sheen to it, and the reason I bring this up, is that if you often pine nostalgically for exactly this style, I highly recommend you check out this year's "This Mind Of Mine" EP by UK-based As It Is.

The second song "Horoscopes" tells almost the whole story. Starting with high tempo and intensity riff-wise, the opening vocal exchange is raspy and shouty to the point of reminding you of classic Ataris material, but when the bouncy chorus comes in, it's vintage New Found Glory. "I just wanna believe in something, but I think horoscopes are bullshit" sings main vocalist Patty Walters, capping it off with a "ye-eh-eah" that couldn't sound more like 2003 Patrick Stump unless he was cloned and preserved in cryostasis. Did I mention that the song is damn catchy? If not, it should go without saying when you combine the sparkling leads, bouncy rhythms and youthful vocals - the type that are interchangeably airy and raspy - of the referenced influences.

"I'm the boy that chose not to grow up and now I'm unprepared for everything". Such goes the hook in third track "Can't Save Myself", which along with the opener "Bitter, Broken Me" is the third EP track to maintain an up-beat tempo and energy, while keeping to down-beat lyricism. We're spared trendy Soupy worship alá "Thiiis town.." or "Myyyy friends.." and overall the band stands refreshingly apart from the easycore- and realist pop-punk movements, instead reinvirogating the more romantic and less gritty tone of the generation of pop-punk that went before them. Finally the fourth track "Relive The Story" displays a nice bit of variety, by opting for a balladic tempo that leads to the kind of throat-scraping anthem towards the end that you'd expect in a Have Mercy belter. "I'll never be the man, that I wan't to be! And he'll never wan't to be me!". Teenage pathos is naturally at an all time high, but that's the way it's gotta be with these bands. They speak to the insecure youths in all of us - not the grown up established personas.

The number of aspiring pop-punk bands in both the US and the UK is of course staggering, and I've previously remarked with regret how many of the promising ones fade out before they gain some traction, while some of the less interesting ones keep banging their heads stubbornly against the ceiling of their niche. As It Is are among the promising ones based on "This Mind Of Mine", and I would absolutely not mind if they banged some more releases against said ceiling. Their production is a bit flat on here, and the choruses do take a couple of listens before they start to stick, so there's room for improvement, but at the same time the energy that's here is already contagious enough for you to feel involved with these guys. So here's to hoping they get some recognition and keep it together.


Download: Horoscopes, Relive The Story, Can't Save Myself
For The Fans Of: New Found Glory, Fastlane, Fall Out Boy (on "Take This To Your Grave"), The Ataris

Release date 17.03.2014

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