March 10, 2014 Neck Deep – Wishful Thinking (Album Review)
After developing their sound over the past two years, Neck Deep finally debut their first full-length record Wishful Thinking. This pop punk band from Wrexham, UK has given fans a taste of their music with a couple of EPs, but Wishful Thinking is a major stepping-stone distinguishing themselves. With a sound that sometimes falls into the commonness of the very popular pop punk sound, they find ways to stand out with fascinating tempos and appealing refrains on Wishful Thinking.
Throughout the album, Neck Deep is consistent with their smooth instrumentals and liberating melodies. The opening song, “Losing Teeth”, possesses these strong elements; giving listeners a clear idea of where the record is going. Though this track is not quite memorable, it highlights the importance of the guitars’ role in their music. In “Blank Pages”, the sharp riffs and vocal tempo combine to create a distinct and captivating track that highlights Neck Deep’s talents. The strong rhythmic beats are also crucial elements, due to frequency in their sound.
Being part of the pop punk genre, it is vital that Neck Deep find signature hooks and attributes to lift their success. While they sometimes fail to keep the originality consistent, certain aspects of some tracks give them life and recognition. “Damsel In Distress” has trouble standing out instrumentally, but the synchronization of the vocals and tempo with the simple and catchy lyrics “She’s a witch / She’s a mess / She’s a waste of time / Damsel in distress on a steep decline” give off the fun vibe that enriches this album.
The fast tempo of Wishful Thinking is exhibited in the fervent power of the guitar, dictating every motion of each track. A key example of this technique is “Crushing Grief”, with a vocal melody tying together with a quick and smooth pace of instrumentation to capture the song’s excitement. An even faster speed picks up when “Zoltar Speaks” comes into play. The verses consist of a speedy chug of guitar riffs and clash into a steadier refrain that surges into a compelling vocal hook. The contradiction of pace in this track makes the potency of the chorus stand out. The song “Growing Pains” has similar riffs, but finds its diversity with, once again, the help of guitar. The clear and effective layering of guitar riffs adds important strength to this track. The force of the song is amplified with a strong and catchy chorus that finishes off the best track on the album.
Being their first full-length record, Wishful Thinking gives Neck Deep a solid benchmark to progress from. Since they have already reached quite impressive popularity in the scene for a band that has only been around since 2012, it is important that they grow from this success. They have introduced an exciting yet common sound, while intertwining personal touches to intrigue and impress listeners. It is now up to Neck Deep to take the advantages of their talents shown in Wishful Thinking and strive beyond this point. CrypticRock gives this album 3.5 out of 5 stars.Review written by Emma Guido