Posts Tagged ‘pop punk’


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

Pop Punk/Punk Reviewer on Behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Melrose – No Thanks Man, I’m High On Life! – Track Review 

Gang shouts, catchy synthesizer, huge drums… ‘pop punk’ has come a long way in recent years. Three chord guitar gems have given way to a much more credible mix of harmonies and a rich layering not found even a decade ago. Indeed, the whole heavier genre side of pop punk has shifted into what many people now class as ‘Easy Core’, something which bridges the gap (between guys in their teens singing about break-ups and getting wasted) with Hardcore, which fans of both parties can enjoy. The blend is formidable. Thanet band, Melrose have embraced this exciting new music with both hands, and the track I was presented with, ‘No Thanks Man, I’m High On Life!’ is no exception. The track opens with a fairly choppy drum build up which quickly progresses into impressive fills, massive guitars and a simple yet very effective synth line. This is where it grabs you and hangs on, as the song’s opening itself is impossible to forget.

The verses of the songs are very reminiscent of the French band ‘Chunk, No! Captain Chunk!’ and it’s very obvious they’re a massive influence on the band musically. What really defines Melrose as a band though are very English sounding vocals, brutal shouting in the vein of American band, A Day To Remember and some well placed layering, showing off the skills of both guitarists in the band to full effect. The drums hold the whole formula together though, and really shine through from start to finish, solid and technical in equal measure, but not too much to detract from the rest of what the band are doing. There’s a real sense of anger, urgency and fun in this song, all thrown at you one after the other for maximum impact, a trait which the band could do well to continue onto future recordings. The way this track fades out is the perfect closer to their EP, something which I look forward to checking out in full if every song is as memorable as this one. Another factor which removes Melrose from the ‘pop punk’ tag which so many bands label themselves nowadays are the lyrics; line after life-affirming line celebrating nights of partying, standing firm for what you love and believe in, and even a nod to the band Four Year Strong, again, an evident influence to the band musically.

The glossy production value also gives you a real sense that this band means business, and subtle touches such as bass sub drops and programmed drums in the interlude really make this feel like so much more than a standard local band effort, thanks to Ian Sadler of Emeline Recordings. Literally, the only downside of the song (a minor one at that) is that in some places you can’t always hear or understand what vocalist Connor is trying to convey. Nevertheless, this takes nothing away from the overall good vibes of the track in question; suffice to say that the louder you listen to the tune the more it stands alone in an exciting genre which is still finding its feet. Melrose are a band who are not only having the time of their lives but know exactly what they want and how to get it, in their own words, ‘This Is A Celebration, We Live For All Our Friends!’

Matt Verrell

Punk/Pop Punk/Rock Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Artwork above credited to – Saskia Johnson Photography –

Saving Sebastian – I Hate Bands That Use Ridiculously Long Song Titles to Name Their Songs, They Could Have Chosen a Simple Phrase from the Chorus – Track Review

Yes I know what you’re thinking, and yes that really is the title of the song. Anyways, moving on swiftly this song starts off with a kind of bouncy bass riff and then the other instruments join in with the chorus riff which is pretty amazing.

The verse is a standard affair with the vocalist singing about heartbreak and being screwed over by the opposite sex. The vocals are melodic and in your face and well performed.

Now I get to the best bit about this song and probably one of the most important things about songs in this genre, the chorus. The chorus is an absolute blast with a hook that will get stuck in your head for days. ‘Your my perfect morning wake me up, Just to let me down’ is something you just can’t help but sing along to. The chorus reminds me very much of Fall out Boy, which is kind of ironic because they are big fans of using ridiculously long song titles to name their songs 🙂

Musically the band sound extremely tight and the recording has captured every instrument perfectly. This really is a pretty solid track; I think the only thing that’s missing is a more interesting verse as this would really put it up there alongside the greats. All in all, a highly rated track.

Dan Martin Brown
@Dan Martin Brown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Pop Punk band from Hemel Hempstead
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Sail On – Things Are On The Up – (from EP At Least It’s Not Raining) 

Sail On – Things Are On The Up – Track Review

I’ve been a pop-punk fan for almost twenty years now, so as this song started and I heard the infectious melodies and killer hooks that I love, I started to proper get into it, but then suddenly like a punch to the chest, the enjoyment was taking away some. I will explain…

The song starts off with a real deep catchy guitar riff with the drums pounding away and it sounds great, then the vocals start and I’m instantly reminded of bands such as Yellow card, New Found Glory and You Me at Six. The singing has a great melody and bright tone which sits perfectly in the mix above the instruments.

The chorus has a great hook and you find yourself singing along to ‘when the lights go down’.

Then the second vocalist is introduced and this is the part that I have a little bit of a problem with.

Now I will admit, metal is not really my cup of tea so when I hear the screaming/shouting throughout verse two I’m kind of left wishing they had kept it like verse one.

Now I’m not saying the second vocalist is not talented, I’m sure he would be great in a metal/heavier band but I think the contrast between the two voices is just too different.

Musically the band sound great and real tight, it all goes at a frantic pace and even has a quiet synth track sitting in the background.

Having only heard this one track by Sail On, I’m left wondering what genre they want to be, but one thing’s for sure, if they stick to the sweet pop/punk sound, then I for one would be a massive fan.

Dan Martin Brown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Review of gig at Club Q and Sail On’s set – By Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Photo’s by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics


  • Blacken the Name
  • My Life in the Making
  • Hours to Destroy
  • Sail On
  • Artemis Redeemer

It has been widely discussed and commented that Ashford has not had much of a metal/rock scene for quite some time.  Original band gigs have been some what lacking for this genre, so there was a lot of hype around this, along with some concerns that it may not be well attended.  This gig was put on by Below the Radar Events and Promotions in an attempt to try to kick start the local scene again, with the intention of putting on more regular gigs if all went well.

This was a little different than Below the Radar’s usual gigs, in that Dan Wyatt from Blacken the Name also helped to organize it and will be running future ones from Club Q, as the Ashford section of Below the Radar.  Dan managed to acquire Club Q (snooker club) as a venue for these gigs, which was the home of the Ashford Rocks gigs in the past, so has seen plenty a rock and metal bands in its time.

If there were concerns about attendance, there needn’t have been as the venue was packed out by fans of metal and this has now secured the venue for future gigs.  So guys, keep your eyes peeled for the next one, as to keep the scene going this requires future good attendance!

Artemis Redeemer are a 5 piece metal/hardcore band from Kent.  I say are but this is not strictly true as they are actually splitting up.  This gig was their penultimate, there last being with Palmreader and Bury The Hatchet at the Beercart Arms in Canterbury on April 11th.  So if you like what hear/see (track featured at bottom) I suggest you get along to this gig.  It will be the last opportunity to catch them live and being their last ever show, I’m pretty sure it will be a stonker!  Despite being nearly at their end the band put on a strong set of hardcore metal.  Lead vocalist Sam Hubbard produced some very strong vocals backed by hard riffs for some real head banging music.

Artemis Redeemer

Artemis Redeemer

Sail On brought something a little different to the lineup being a pop punk band.  Local lads from Ashford they seemed a little concerned they wouldn’t fit the lineup but they needn’t have.  This pop punk band actually have a screamer (well technically he has left and another band member is filling in) and are not exactly a ‘soft’ sounding band.  I recently reviewed them at a gig in Folkestone, so wont cover the same things again (see here for last review) but I can say that they still have all the energy of a kid eating blue smarties and still have their kangaroo (yep previous review read needed there).  The crowd really enjoyed this set and it was nice to see that their front man has gained a lot of confidence since the last time I saw them.  A strong band with a really great sound, highly recommend you catch them at a gig.

Sail On

Sail On

Hours to Destroy a pretty new 4 piece, experimental metal band from Canterbury.  I photographed these guys at a gig a little while back, one of their early gigs and have to say what an amazing bunch of guys these are.  To say it was an eventful gig would be an understatement however.  The very last song of their set, the very last bar, I’m leaning in with my camera to get a shot of the final moment.  As I look through the lens I see Richi’s (lead vocalist) eyes just roll back in his head as he literally keels over.  Falling backwards he hits his head on the window sill and knocks himself sparko!  The next set of photography is missed by me as I’m delivering first aid and holding his head together, which has a really deep gash and all he can say while waiting for an ambulance is:  “Will they have to to shave my head?   My hair man!” So I was a little concerned about this set and we did have a discussion regarding performing all future gigs in a sumo outfit and crash helmet  (which I would love to photograph!).  Moving on, experimental metal is a great description of this band, the bassist Tom Shepherd is actual bass/synths combined.  Literally!  Being a previous dub step solo artist they wanted to bring his synths into the set so came up with a genius idea.  A nano pad was purchased which runs through a laptop, the keypad is velcro’d onto his bass and he plays it live!  Extremely strong vocals from Richi Lewis, tight guitars and drums and a unique sound with some really interesting lyrics.  This band is going from strength to strength and they clearly love what they do.  I suggest you check them out!

Hours To Destroy

Hours To Destroy

My Life in the Making are a 4 piece metal band from Ashford/New Romney and to be honest, there is not really anyone on the scene that hasn’t heard of these guys!  So having not done much of late these guys are back and back with a vengeance and it was clear to see that there are a lot of people very happy about this.  The band had a very big turn out and the second they hit the stage a crowd gathered eagerly awaiting their set.  I was really looking forward to seeing these guys after hearing so many awesome things about them and yes I can confirm, they are awesome.  A fierce drummer who managed to break a fair few sticks in his fury, had an amazing kit adorned with Animal from the muppets which is very fitting.  Lead vocalist Ken Graham has a strong and pretty stunning voice, backed up by Ted Clark’s earth shattering screams the combination is very powerful.  Chopping riffs and powerful bass lines, put these all together and you have yourself a slightly different brand of metal but one I like, A LOT!  Really pleased to see these guys have a few gigs coming up.

My Life In The Making

My Life In The Making

Blacken The Name a 5 piece metal/experimental band from Ashford.  Yes these are local boys but no matter where they perform they have a really loyal fan base that follow along and its not hard to see why.  I’ve seen/photographed these guys a good few times now and they never fail to amaze.  Although every single gig is action packed, it is very rare for me to be able to say that every set is different.  These guys keep me on my toes and you have to be very alert around them for numerous reasons.  You just never know what will come next or what a band member will do.  There are times I wish there was two of me as while taking a shot of something, out the corner of my eye I can see something else going on which I’m kicking myself for missing.  Lead vocalist Dan Wyatt rarely spends any time on stage at all, preferring to be out in the pit with the fans and giving them the opportunity to join in with vocals frequently.  Note I said pit!  I have never attended a Blacken gig where there has not been a mosh pit and these can get pretty mental.  I always need to keep my wits about me but man do they produce some amazing photo’s.  I usually end up hanging around the speakers so I can duck behind for safety if necessary or onto the stage itself.  This gig was spent on my hands and knees at rhythm guitarist John Shaw’s feet!  Awesome sounding metal came off stage with huge amounts of headbanging, even from the band and lots of windmills off stage.  The finale was a metal rendition of Ricky Martin – Living da vida loco and the crowd went mental.  The mosh pit filled up with both men and women and craziness ensued.  Definitively a band to go and see, just watch yourself near that pit or get involved!

Blacken The Name

Blacken The Name

Review by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Artemis Redeemer – We are Society Find band on Facebook 

Sail On – Things Are On The Up Find band on Facebook 

Hours to Destroy – Find band on Facebook – Give their page a like as they are currently just finishing recording their debut EP and details will be released there.  A track will be inserted here once completed and into the metal track section of the blog for promo!

My Life in the Making – Find band on Facebook – Track to follow so please check back as we are in the process of sorting!

Blacken the Name – Jekyll and Hyde Find band on Facebook 

Here follows a very, very small amount of the evenings photography.  For the full evening (believe me they are worth seeing, 196 photo’s) please go to, Facebook, this gig only 

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics


Introducing Up For The Let Down


Line Up

Jay (Drums) – Lex (Vocals) – Scott (Lead Guitar) – Simon (Bass)

2 Up For The Let Down (36)

Up For The Let Down – I Fear Sharks 

Up For The Let Down are a female fronted pop punk band from Medway.

I’ve seen and photographed this band back in January at the Beercart Arms in Canterbury and then reviewed/photographed them again on 15 March in Folkestone at the RokanRolla.  Having chatted to these guys I can honestly say what a nice down to earth bunch they are and musically very talented.  It’s quite a rare thing these days to find a female fronted band at all, let alone a pop punk band and a very good one at that.  Here is what I had to say when I reviewed their Folkestone gig earlier this month:

Second came female fronted Pop Punk/Rock band from Medway, Up For The Let Down.  I have seen these guys before at the Beercart Arms in Canterbury but Friday night, they were on form!  Front woman Lex engages the audience in a way that is rarely seen, moving in and out of them offstage, while singling the odd member out for special attention.  I rarely see a crowd so engaged with a band at a gig, but these guys were even posing for photo’s with her during the set.  Lex produces strong punk vocals so crisp and clear you feel yourself being drawn like the lure of paddling your feet in cool soothing lake on a hot summers day.  The band produce and bang out some extremely catchy numbers, to the point I even found myself singing along at moments.  Combing fast guitars and a rarely seen female lead vocalist make this a band that you simply cant not like.  These guys are piling on the gigs at the moment so check them out on Facebook and go and show them some love!  You won’t regret it.

Find them on Facebook 

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Up For The Let Down

Up For The Let Down

and now a bit from the band themselves:


Formed in 2011 Up for the letdown came into the world as a 5 piece….after a few line up changes due to different musical directions the band is now consisting of two original members but is stronger than ever as a four piece!

‘We set out to mix up pop punk and rock and roll combining fast guitars and pop punk vocals to create a moody yet exciting combo! ‘

The band consists of Lex G on vocals, Scott Gutteridge on guitar, Si Cope on bass and Jay Benham on drums.

We formed in 2011 after separations of previous bands everyone was at loose ends but wanting to carry on so we got our heads together and formed something that has become a very special friendship, both tough and amazing times were to come and we’ve never looked back!! Here we are smashing it!!

The band recorded last at The Dining Room Studio in Sittingbourne where Jay’s uncle Dave Boulden engineered and we got three tracks done ‘Heroes Haircut’, ‘ink and Kicks’ and ‘Make Or Break’.  These tracks are currently still played in our set and we have recently re recorded Make or Break with a few changes.

Later on we recorded at Annex Audio with Ricky Beetlestone engineering and we didn’t know what we were in for….the tracks sounded immense!! We recorded Had Enough and That Summer and later went back to record Make or Break and I fear sharks.

We are in the process of writing new material which has a slightly more energized tinge to it with the arrival of our fantastic new guitarist Scott Gutteridge.

Up For The Let Down

Up For The Let Down Gig Schedule

One of our reviewers has reviewed track Had Enough:

Up For The Letdown, Medway purveyors of pop punk have produced with “Had Enough”, a track to warm even the frozen bits. Yep, and I do mean those bits.  (read rest of review on our site here)

Our friends at Banned Reviews have reviewed tracks I Fear Sharks and That Summer:

 So far Up F0r The Let Down have released six tracks into the great wide web.  One of these has the inspired title I Fear Sharks.  Attention grabbing drumming starts the track before a …  read rest of review here

I guess all there is left to say, get over to their Facebook, give them a like and check them out, get down to a gig and see them or book them for a gig.  You won’t regret it!

Up For The Let Down – Had Enough 

Up For The Letdown, Medway purveyors of pop punk have produced with “Had Enough”, a track to warm even the frozen bits. Yep, and I do mean those bits.

From the opening twenty seconds of enticingly heavy guitar chug with a snatch of double kick drums, to the step-up in tempo and lead singer Lex’s vocals which announce themselves with an energy last heard from Katie Jane Gartside and Daisy Chainsaw (if you don’t know her, look her up, various search engines are available)

The regular changes of pace within these four and a half minutes show that UFTL aren’t just trying to be different, they’ve succeeded. However the lyrics of the song are simple, Lex has had enough. Enough arguing, enough of the world taking everything it can and giving nothing other than grief back. Well if you get nothing in exchange for this, dear members of UFTL, then you have every right to feel mightily aggrieved as this is without doubt a delightful glowing earworm, one of those pieces of music that will stick in your head, regardless of whether or not, you’ve had enough


Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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2 Up For The Let Down (36)