Neck Deep

All Distortions Are Intentional

Written by: PP on 26/01/2021 13:35:07

For their fourth album "All Distortions Are Intentional", Neck Deep opts for a slight stylistic shift away from pop punk towards more of an arena-ready type of alternative/pop-rock. Sure, the pop punk nuances are still there on highlight tracks like "Telling Stories", carrying the high-energy onslaught of their early days, but as a whole, the record is taking more from Nine Days than it does from New Found Glory or The Story So Far, save for the angsty vocals.

To start with, the record rides through a strong opening via "Sonderland", "Fall" (which recalls Boys Night Out's "Trainwreck"), and "Telling Stories", all of which belong underneath the infectious pop punk track label. But soon after, we're dealt songs like "Quarry", "Sick Joke" and "What Took You So Long", the latter of which is basically a dime-a-dozen pop-rock track as you hear on the radio waves. Catchy on first listen, sure, but absolutely no staying power beyond the first few repetitions. The two others? Anonymous ballads. At this point, you're starting to get a vibe that this is like a C-sides album to New Found Glory material: all the stuff that got thrown away because it just wasn't good enough for a recorded output. It's simply too derivative, too generic, too nothing saying to make any difference in an extremely crowded genre.

So let me ask you this: if you remove the crunchy edge from the guitars and the harsher vocals from the first two (excellent) albums, and then you also remove the relatively fast tempo of the third album, what exactly are you left with? All the core strengths of Neck Deep are gone and left behind is a sound that's about as safe as swimming in the children's pool where the water's only knee-deep. The infectious energy, the catchy hooks, and aggressive lines that stood out at the beginning of this band have been replaced by largely mainstream drivel that's out to get the unsuspecting radio crowds; actual music fans and enthusiasts will not find much of anything here, and you know what? These days, three solid tracks just aren't going to cut it.

5

Download: Telling Stories, Fall, Sonderland
For the fans of: Knuckle Puck, The Story So Far, All Time Low, New Found Glory, Veara
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.07.2020
Hopeless Records

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