Archive for the ‘Punk/Pop Punk Track Reviews’ Category

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Optional Rubber Duck –The River Run Sessions – EP Review

This is my two track EP review for Maidstone’s pop punk masters Optional Rubber Duck.

Jackie Chan – The first track on the EP is named after a martial arts legend and what a track this is. The lyrics are hilarious with the most put downs I think I have ever heard in a single track for example ‘can you smile for me please, cos I know it seems quite hard, you don’t deserve to hold my hand or even a Christmas card’. The vocals are clear and crisp and the guitars are full of pure distortion. The chorus is very memorable and catchy ‘you’re giving me a mental cramp, taking more than you can, you dance like a retard and your real name is Jackie Chan, GO JACKIE GO!’. Straight after the chorus comes the famous guitar riff which was also used on the Vapours track ‘Turning Japanese’.

The bridge of the song is a fast loud wave of distorted power chords played swiftly until its back onto that familiar chorus again, a real enjoyable track.

My Kingdom – This track starts off with some palm muting on the guitars but then blasts out to a great sounding solo overlay which for me is the memorable part of this track. The vocals sing about blood, sweat and tears shed to be king of a kingdom. In my opinion this song lacks a few hooks compared to the previous track but then I guess that does place the bar pretty high as it is a great track. There is some great guitar work on show here and the drummer doesn’t miss a beat.

Midway through and we get the bridge which starts with the bass going solo only for the other instruments to build up to the last verse and chorus. The song then uses the old fashioned style of fading the song out which I haven’t heard for some time but it’s a nice change.

All in all the two tracks sit nicely beside each other. The song writing is clever and well written. For me it’s just a shame the second track is not as strong as the first one but even still these guys rock and definitely know how to write a good punk song.

Dan Martin Brown
@DanMartinBrown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find Optional Rubber Duck on Facebook 

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The Kimberly Steaks – Cleavers/The Kimberly Steaks spilt 7” – Track Reviews 

The Kimberly Steaks are a punk band from Glasgow, Scotland. This is my review of their three track EP.

The first thing I will have to say about this EP is the length. This is an extremely short EP with three tracks clocking up about three minutes in total, which is shorter than many single tracks I have reviewed. There is a reason for this however. These guys play fast, incredibly fast; it’s definitely high adrenalin stuff. The vocalist does extremely well fitting the words into tiny spaces with just enough room to take a breath.

The first track is called ‘No Brainer’ and is really just a twenty second introduction with the song going straight in at one hundred miles per hour, this really is speed punk. Next comes my personal favourite on the EP ‘Fix My Head’ which begins with a great fiddly guitar overlay intro and then it’s back to the break neck speed again. The chorus is a catchy one with a repeat of ‘I just need a little time to fix my head’. A shout out must go out to the drummer because with beats beating played this fast he must have a real strong pain barrier. The final track on the EP is called ‘Lonesome Surprise’ which again starts off with a catchy little guitar introduction. The chorus on this one is very similar to the previous track with a repeat of ‘It’s a lonesome surprise’ sung various times. The repeats of words like this on choruses make it easy to sing a long and sticks in the mind.

To summarise this EP I would say The Kimberly Steaks really know how to play fast. The instruments gel perfectly and the singers voice suits the style perfectly. The only downside is that the songs are played so fast its sometimes difficult picking out the lyrics in the songs. The EP is over very quickly but if you like your punk played at high tempo then you will definitely be pressing repeat a few times.

Dan Martin Brown
@DanMartinBrown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find The Kimberly Steaks on Facebook 

Buy their digital album on bandcamp 

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Rivalries – Built To Last EP – Review

Fifth of April

Rivalries are a high octane pop-punk/melodic hardcore punk band with plenty of hooks and gang vocals to keep the fans happy. Here is my review of the three track EP ‘Built to Last’.

Fifth of April – The first song on the EP is fifth of April and in my opinion this is the stand out track. It bounces along with loads of backup vocals and harmonies. The vocal style of the band is kind of gruff and raw. It reminds me a little of a tame version of Anti-Flags vocal style all be it in an English accent. The song has a great little hook ‘and the days creep by so quickly and the nights leave us too fast, I’m writing to you from the top of the world, cos this is built to last’. The song is uplifting with heartfelt lyrics and great guitar riffs.

First Internationalist – With plenty of ‘whoooaa’ parts on show this has plenty of parts the audience can join in on. It has very clever lyrics talking about the writing on the walls not being so clear anymore and keeping the foundations of something built so strong. There is a real sense of togetherness and team play in the vocals. Once again the song uses great use of multiple vocals and back up harmonies.

Go Forth, Never Back – The final track of the EP starts off with a beautiful guitar intro before exploding into the verse. Like the track before the song features plenty of whoooaaa parts and harmonies on the vocals. Midway through the song has a great guitar solo part which breaks it up nicely. It is a nice song to end the EP with and is sure to make you want to press repeat for another listen.

To sum it all up the EP is a good listen, it’s just a bit of a shame the two other tracks aren’t quite as strong as the opener. If you’re a fan of catchy riffs and great gang and harmony vocals then you will enjoy this. The song writing is clever with some very memorable lines. With a bit more variation on tempos and style, this band have the potential to be huge.

Dan Martin Brown
@DanMartinBrown

Pop Punk/Punk Reviewer on Behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook
Find band on bandcamp
 – hear their new EP here

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Home Advantage – Barriers – Track Review 

If you like your punk/punk pop/melodic hardcore with a bit more thought and emotion then I am pretty sure you will dig this track by Home Advantage. You see it’s not your usual routine break up girlfriend song with cheesy lyrics; this goes deep, deeper then the deepest of oceans at times.

The song is all about choosing your beliefs and the way you live your life despite the culture and lifestyle of the country you are born into. The song starts off with the lyrics ‘my English heart is just the same as if it was born in any other country, it doesn’t make me proud, it doesn’t make me hateful, it makes me a prisoner to arbitrary lines’.

Then the music kicks in and it’s a frantic high tempo affair which sounds a little like something bands Rise Against or Set Your Goals would present. It is alot more complex than most songs in this genre I have reviewed with tempo changes and difficult time signatures to pull off. It’s certainly not your usual verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus formula which gives it a lack of sing along hooks.

One stand out part for me was when the vocalist sings ‘Just let them go, all the boarders that are holding you in’ this sounds great as a kind of chorus and it is the only real ‘hooky’ part.

Vocally the lyrics are sung with emotion and power, backed up by harmonies and the occasional scream. Musically the band sound great with the rapid drum beats a stand out.

To summarise the track is great for fans of said bands. Its deepness and edginess will definitely appeal with the talented song writing on show.

Dan Martin Brown
@Dan Martin Brown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook

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Tigerstyle – There’s Nothing Good about What You Do

With heavy guitars and gang vocals a plenty, Tigerstyles ‘There’s Nothing Good about What You Do’ is three minutes worth of melodic Hardcore with a large slice of pop punk thrown in for good measure.

It all starts with some heavy palm muting before the rest of the gang join in, the style of the guitar riffs and drumming sounds like something American band Four Year Strong would throw together.

The vocals come in and sing about broken relationships and how you cannot give up even though you have been let down. The stand out vocals are on the chorus ‘you broke me down, you broke me down but I’m back for more, I’ll make it through, I’ll pick myself up off the ground’.

The vocal style reminds me very much of Blink 182s Tom Delonge with the American whiny style, especially on the chorus. The vocals are clear and crisp and you can easily pick out the words.

Midway through and we have an instrumental breakdown which features some great double bass beats on the drums and some intense guitar riffs.

To sum it all up if you like bands like four year strong or A Day to Remember then chances are you will really enjoy this track. It’s easy to get into, well written and flows very nicely.

Dan Martin Brown
@Dan Martin Brown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook

Download EP

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July or Never – Footnotes – Track Review 

Cast your mind back to the year 2000 when pop punk bands finally seemed to hit the mainstream and the genre was the cool thing to listen to. Things have changed throughout the years which is unfortunate for us fans of the genre but fortunately there are still a few bands around that are keeping the attitude of ‘pop punks not dead’ alive and kicking. July or Never have all the hooks of a classic New Found Glory song or all the harmonic power chords of an Alkaline Trio number.

The song starts off with the chorus sung slowly and quietly which is a great build up for all the instruments to come in and hit home hard. The verse comes in and the vocals sing about sinking ships and drowning, which they use as a metaphor for relationships falling apart. This is a definite cliché and has been used quite a few times in the genre but July or Never manage to keep it sounding fresh and different. The vocals are crisp and sung really nicely. There are many high pitch notes which would trouble most singers but the vocalist here appears to be a bit of a master. It all flows very nicely indeed.

The chorus has a great hook with the lyrics ‘tonight we walk these streets alone, for reasons only you and I know, all we’ve done and all we’ve lost, have turned me into footnotes in your thoughts’. It has lovely harmonies and is very memorable.

The bridge goes off with the repeated line ‘With no regrets, I’ll put my best foot forward’ and the chorus blends in with it with over dubbed vocals. It sounds really effective and ends the song perfectly.

Musically this song is very professional, with great fast paced drumming and ever changing classic power chords.
To summarise Footnotes is a well written track with some amazing harmonies and catchy hooks which you will be repeating in your head for days. Very enjoyable.

Dan Martin Brown
@DanMartinBrown

Pop Punk/Punk Reviewer on Behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook
Official Website
Free Downloads soundcloud

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Tres Camaradas – Sink – Track Review 

‘Sink’ by Tres Camarades is a song all about drinking, and drinking a hell of alot until you’re sick.

The song starts off with a rolling drum beat on the toms and the bass comes in with the guitar, sounding a little like the mission impossible theme.

The music style reminds me of nineties grunge with the gritty vocals and instruments starting of calmly on the verses and then getting louder and more aggressive on the chorus, a little like Nirvana.
The song has a slow tempo and the recording sounds quite raw, almost like a live recording.

A repeated ‘we drink and sink until we’re sick’ and ‘being alone’ stick in your head but are a little repetitive after a few listens. The bass line in this song is great and definitely one of the stand out instruments.

All in all ‘Sink’ is a powerful song that is gritty and raw, definitely one for old school grungers and alternative rock fans to rock out to.

Dan Martin Brown
@DanMartinBrown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Tres Camaradas have just released two new tracks but I had already given this out for review before hand.  I’m posting a video of one of their new tracks below and will be getting the new ones reviewed by another reviewer very shortly!  (Sarah – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions)