I may make this into a full series, but there’s the issue with the copyright for the album artwork. Huge thanks to Ricardo Cavolo for giving me permission to use the art!
2015 saw Neck Deep release their second full-length album Life’s Not Out To Get You and give pop-punk the boost that it needed. Having been referred to as “The Empire Strikes Back” of albums, Neck Deep became a powerhouse of pop-punk and brought the genre back to life.
Although I love their previous album ‘Wishful Thinking’ for all of its angst and anger ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’ has a slight edge that was lacking in their previous release. This edge comes from songs that have a seamless flow and generally just fit together as a collection of songs.
Before Life’s Not Out To Get You came out Neck Deep was my favourite band and after its release, the love I had for the band only got stronger. You often find that people love an album for a number of reasons including; emotional connection and relation to a big moment in their lives. This album doesn’t really have either of those things for me however I would still say it is one of my favourites. “For what reason?” I hear you ask, well simply because it is great.
Pop-punk has always been one of my most listened to genres and this album is pop-punk to its core. I think the reason why I love this album so much is that it gave me hope for pop-punk in a time where all of my favourite bands were releasing albums that I really did not like. The album kicks off with Citizens of Earth which is a great introduction to the album. With angsty guitars and hardcore vocals the song beams promise for the rest of the album.
Gold Steps is one of my favourites from the album as the song has good feel vibes throughout and is generally just enjoyable to listen to. You can definitely picture being at a skatepark with this song blasting on full volume whilst spending time with friends. With its catchy riffs and melody, it is obvious that ‘Gold Steps’ is the lead track of the album.
Life’s Not Out To Get You offered a fresh and invigorating outlook on both pop-punk and Neck Deep. I had no doubts that they were my favourite band however this album really sold them to me. Especially with the upbeat track, Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors. This song feels entirely Neck Deep however it brings in-your-face vocals to the table in a way which we haven’t really seen from the band before.
What would a pop-punk album be without its necessary ‘hometown’ song? Absolutely nothing right? Definitely right. Although slightly cliche, Can’t Kick Up The Roots has infectious riffs and catchy sing-a-long lyrics. Being the first release for this album it is probably the song I have listened to most.
I genuinely love every song on this album, which is not something I say very often. Even the compulsory sad song is enjoyable and the lyrics from frontman Ben Barlow are heartfelt and sung with pure emotion. If you are someone who isn’t a big listener of pop-punk and are looking for a good place to start then I definitely recommend this album as it is a definitive pop-punk masterpiece.
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