It’s okay, you can admit it now, this over-saturated scene is dead. With bands turning up every day that are just a carbon copy of their already extremely generic predecessors, where are we to turn? A few months ago, that would’ve been virtually impossible to answer. However, now, we can at least give you somewhat of a valid response due to the musical shift we’ve been witnessing recently: Kids are trading in their over-priced synthesizers and trivial breakdowns for fast paced, anti-hometown ballads and real, heartfelt music – in other words, this is a pop-punk revival.

Joining in on the resurgence is UK pop-punk outfit, Neck Deep. The quintet’s sound consists of discontented, teenage angst-filled anthems, which are reminiscent of genre greats such as The Wonder Years and Man Overboard. However, while they can be ignorantly tossed into that musical vein, Neck Deep have a certain unparalleled uniqueness about their sound detaches them from the rest of the pack. The unwonted aspect about these attributes derives from the fact that they can all be collected from one source: the band’s debut EP, Rain In July, – that’s right, DEBUT EP.

The enticing release commences with the appropriately titled, “Kick It,” which is a minute forty-three second intro which immediately sets the aforementioned, “real, heartfelt,” tone for the entire rest of the EP. The proceeding three tracks are three of the best, most down-to-Earth jams that have graced our playlists over here at The Scene As We Know It in recent memory. From the obviously blatant message in “What Did You Expect,” to the exceptional chorus in “Over and Over,” to the ear-candy guitar in the beginning of “Silver Lining,” just from these three tracks, it’s quite evident that Neck Deep are well on their way to pop-punk stardom.

Now, you’re most likely sitting there, reading this, thinking, “Well, if the first 4 tracks are as good as they said, the rest must just be fillers.” Astonishingly enough, while this preconceived notion is comprehendible, it’s completely untrue. The following track, “A Part Of Me,” is possibly the most memorable, catchiest love ballad to ever come out of the pop-punk realm. The gentle guitars contrast seamlessly with lead vocalist, Ben Barlow’s, scratchy harmonies, producing the without-a-doubt highlight of the release.

The following two tracks finish out the 7 song release. The first of which, “I Couldn’t Wait To Leave 6 Months Ago,” was released earlier this summer as a single – and might we add that while just about any track on the release could be considered single material, this one in particular screams it. Everything from the gritty  guitars and drums to the hometown-dissatisfactory lyricism, all lead to proving this track is pop-punk gold. The latter of the two closing tracks, “All Hype, No Heart,” is a forty-two second, all-out, in your face, straight-up punk song. It’s the most appropriate way to close out such an immaculate release.

It’s evident that these UK boys don’t understand the phrase, “hold back,” because they leave everything out on the table – and let us reiterate: this is their DEBUT EP. One can only imagine what Neck Deep is truly capable of in the future, but for now we have this flawless piece of material to hold us over until the future comes.



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