The Gold Rush.
This is the second EP from the Bedfordshire five-piece who deliver a hard-edged brand of Pop/Punk. It's a wonderful musical mix successfully marrying together the melodies with a touch of harmonies from Pop/Punk, with a Heavy Metal guitar sound and on occasion, vocal delivery, but manages to add keyboards and effects for a more layered sound, whilst also having a slight Indie feel. It's a melting pot that probably shouldn't work but coming together musically it does. This could just be the talent of the band, or the nob-twiddling capabilities of Pop/Punk legend Mike Herrera (MXPX – Vocalist, Bassist & Keyboardist) in Seattle, or even the final mixes by Justin Hill (former SikTh vocalist), however you can see that both Herrera and Hill have influenced a large part of this from first song title and subject, It's Always Rainy In Seattle, to the EP title Bremerton where in Washington, MXPX originate from.
The band previously had Jimmy's vocals as more growling, which with a melodic music building to big choruses did work, however arguably made the band less accessible, and sellable. Songs like Green Eyes and The Truth In Front Of Me were especially beneficial of this style, however with a slight guiding hand Jimmy has used his vocals in a more melodic way, and it's a transition that could bare comparisons to M.Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, who also realised the commercial benefits of singing verses screaming. The important point here is that the cleaner vocals don't make the band less Metal, but a wonderful crossover band.
First song here is, It's Always Raining In Seattle, which starts with the sound of rain before Metal guitars are unleashed and fast-tempo drums bash out a ferocious beat. If you could take a genre machine and have the ability to choose Pop/Punk and then turn the dial towards Metal then this would be the perfect example of what you would get. All This Way is a little more Good Charlotte with extra Punk, and has an anthem feel to it with keyboards in the big chorus. The second verse has some great chugging guitars making the quietest of folk throw their rock hands in the air.
Ghosts is a song that starts off all rocking out before suddenly chilling abruptly to a thoughtful quiet song through the verse, before picking up again for a big chorus. Following on nicely is the slow tempo tune of Crying which suits Jimmy's voice much better than the band's previous slow track Candles. He still has his slight rough edge which adds perfectly to the song and stops it sounding too light and generic. An emotional and touching love song, it has all of the hallmarks of a classic ballad with enough of a contemporary twist to be relevant now. The EP finishes on a high with the hard rocking This Time I Mean It which follows a similar formula of starting hard and fast then with a more chilled verse of bass, drums and vocals before unleashing a big chorus to have you banging your head to.
There is a definite American feel to the band even if the accents are clearly English, and this is only a good thing. The EP is well produced with a clean polished sound and shows a positive progression for the band. I can sense some excitement around the band and there is definitely something here that will build into something great. I would be more than interested to hear what their debut album will sound like. Until then get your hands on this EP as it is well worth a listen.