With the strong opener Citizen Of Earth, Neck Deep introduce us to their new album with anger and a new vocal sound from vocalist Ben Barlow, moving on further and further from the comparison to fellow pop punk band The Story So Far. The previously released Threat Level Midnight (where we’ll appreciate the reference to The Office in the title) and Can’t Kick Up The Roots confirm that, and they’re what Neck Deep do best- catchy and slightly pissed off. This release clearly is an evolved version of ‘Wishful Thinking’ with the same craft, featuring nice surprises like A Day To Remember vocalist Jeremy Mckinnon, who produced this release, on fourth track Kali Ma, and we can clearly tell Neck Deep have grown with this album, passing the hard test of finding your sound without sounding the same on every release.
One of our personal highlights on this release is single Gold Steps, which carries a hopeful message that will clearly speak to the band’s strong following and offers us a welcomed reminder that indeed, life’s not out to get us. The album slows down with acoustic track December which, although a little bland, is still nice nonetheless, and starts up again full force with another one of our highlights, Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors, a track which reminds us of The Wonder Years‘ sound while still sounding like authentic Neck Deep.
The release closes with Rock Bottom, a track about accepting you can’t always control the world and your life, and ends on a hopeful note with the line “resurrect and start again“.
Overall, ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’ is a mature, coming of age release for Neck Deep, making way for bigger things for the band, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with.
Neck Deep – ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’
Released : 14.08.2015 via Hopeless Records