Neck Deep – Life’s Not Out To Get You

Is Neck Deep Reviving Pop-Punk?

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 10.26.33 AMRelease Date: August 14, 2015
Label: Hopeless Records, Inc.
Rocks Like: Real Friends, The Wonder Years, Citizen
Recommended Track(s): Gold Steps, December, Can’t Kick Up the Roots
Rating: ****1/2

Neck Deep’s latest album Life’s Not Out to Get You quickly reached #8 on the Top 10 Official UK Charts within a week of its release, so of course we had to give this chart topper a listen. Read on to hear what we think!

The album kicks off with the track “Citizens of Earth” where you can immediately hear that New Found Glory influenced guitar riff. The track is angsty and aggressive, and a perfect first song to get the listener amped up for the rest of the album. The angst does seem to dissipate after the first song, and the tracks that follow are what we can define as a culmination of all our favorite pop-punk bands.

We are then lead into a classic pop-punk sound with “Threat Level Midnight.” First of all, if you can’t appreciate the momentum gained from this track, you can at least appreciate the reference to Michael Scott’s movie from The Office. That was a smart move, Neck Deep. Then we keep the energy going with the following tracks “Can’t Kick Up the Roots” and “Kali Ma.” They consist of our favorite pop-punk lyrics of reminiscing of the old times spent in a town that you hated, but growing to love it with each passing day. The momentum increases as these songs progress, creating an even bigger chorus each time it comes around.

Ah, we’ve arrived at the best song of the album, “Gold Steps.” If there’s a single track that can speak for the success of this album as a whole, it’s this one. Not only is the album title “Life’s Not Out to Get You” a part of the lyrics, this track perfectly gets the message of the album across. It’s emotional, the lyrics are relatable, and it leaves you feeling inspired. It really makes us feel like we’re going to be fine when Neck Deep says, “Sometimes things will bend you, but trust me you’ll be fine.”

The tracks “Lime St.” and “I Hope This Comes Back to Haunt You” are more laidback, but still have those catchy choruses that we can’t help but belt out. “Serpents” is kind of the odd one out, but we feel like it was a nice change of pace in the middle of the album. It also serves as a good segue into the next track, “The Beach Is for Lovers (Not Lonely Losers).”

“December” is the acoustic tearjerker of the tracks, and one of our favorites. It’s sweet and sad, but hopeful, and will definitely appeal to the romantics out there! The next track “Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors” acts as sort of a closure to the heartache in “December.” The aggressive thumping drums bring back the upbeat, positive energy for the finale.

The album is perfectly wrapped up with the final track “Rock Bottom.” It feels like a natural ending with one last reiteration of not giving into self-defeat. The album ends flawlessly with the words, “Resurrect and start again.”

Overall, the passion and effort that went into creating this album really does come through in the quality of the sound. So what made this album so widely successful? Maybe it was hiring the talented trio of producers, Jeremy McKinnon and Tom Denney of A Day to Remember and Andrew Wade of The Ghost Inside. Maybe it was the influence of acts like Sum 41, New Found Glory, Four Year Strong, and Blink-182. We believe that all these factors played a part in the positive feedback received on Life’s Not Out to Get You. It’s clear that Neck Deep is leading us into a classic pop-punk revival!

Track Listing:
1.Citizens of Earth
2. Threat Level Midnight
3. Can’t Kick Up The Roots
4. Kali Ma
5. Gold Steps
6. Lime St.
7. Serpents
8. The Beach Is For Lovers (Not Lonely Losers)
9. December
10. Smooth Seas
11. I Hope This Comes Back To Haunt You
12. Rock Bottom

Band Links:
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