Burnt Tapes

Never Better

Written by: PP on 06/10/2019 21:28:08

One of the most emotional albums of 2019 is bound to be "Never Better", the debut album by England's Burnt Tapes. Dubbing their sound as 'regret punk', their soundscape sources from early Polar Bear Club material to arrive at an emotionally-charged, introspective soundscape dominated by songs about loneliness, broken love and sadness. We're knee-deep in the world of emo, backed by soaring punk anthems and indie-flavored quiet/loud moments that go back to the origins of the genre. Consider this opening quote from the title track, for instance:

"Another day, another step towards recovery, another step that was too far for me... always looking back, always sad". It's powerful stuff, which is only made more convincing thanks to its slow tempo and the roared, scratchy vocals, which are the absolute highlight of "Never Better" throughout. Given how much strain and gravel he applies to his vocals, the question is how much longer can he go on singing like this? Or at all, given the dark, deeply emotional lyrical universe that is essential to capturing their 'regret punk' label in practice?

Stylistically, we find ourselves somewhere between Polar Bear Club's first album and the realist pop punk of bands like Real Friends and The Wonder Years. The songs are full of catchphrases and memorable moments lyrically, delivered in melancholically catchy, yet upbeat choruses masking their emotional content, such as the one on "Maybe I'm A Method Actor": "and if I pull out my fucking teeth, maybe then I'll get some sleep...I have this picture of you and me, when we used to be happy...".

Similarly, "Dirt Roads", "Drift Champ '16", and "Birds, Birds, And Animals, And Things" are hidden gems that deserve scene attention right away. They all carry the spirited vibe that's often only possible on debut albums, vividly capturing the emotions and thoughts of tens of thousands of youth and depressed people around the world. They do so through soaring vocals, a downbeat atmosphere supplemented by anthemic choruses, and great instrumentals that together create one hell of an emotionally-charged punk rock cocktail.


Download: Never Better, Dirt Roads, Drift Champ '16, Don't Make Me Play Bocelli, Maybe I'm A Method Actor
For the fans of: Polar Bear Club, Real Friends, The Wonder Years, Gnarwolves, Half Hearted Hero, Pentimento
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.02.2019
Lockjaw Records

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