Album Review: Neck Deep, Life’s Not Out To Get You by Sam Brookes.

Before the release of Neck Deep’s Life’s Not Out to Get You, I had written them off as an irrelevant rip off of their American counterparts. Upon the release of LNOTGY I was completely caught off guard. Moving away from what can only be described as “Neck Deep’s sound”, every song is like a love letter to the genre they represent, but with enough innovation to make each track feel unique whilst warm and familiar.

Furious riffs and vocals

Neck Deep prove they’re not messing around in first track, Citizens of Earth, which opens with furious riffs and vocals that almost border on hardcore punk. The lyrics send a clear statement of intent from the band: “You know we can’t break loose if we stay in place/Every earthquake starts with a little shaking/And then we’ll see who’s standing in the wasteland.” The band sends a message to fans and haters alike; things change, get used to it. Neck Deep aren’t about fully shaking off everything their fans loved about them though. Pop culture track Kali Ma (a reference to the infamous heart removal scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) still sounds like old Neck Deep, except all the loose elements have been tightened into a more cohesive version of their sound.

Always have ambition

Stand out track Gold Steps takes elements of The Story So Far (a band Neck Deep have been ripping off since day one) and other pop punk pedigree such as Blink 182 and Sum 41 to create a fun and catchy track. It’s clearly supposed to be their lead single and acts as support to their fans, telling them to push hard and always have ambition. “Life’s not out to get you/Despite the things you’ve been through/What you give is what you get/And it doesn’t make sense to make do.” With acoustic track December, the band has chosen to ditch the slower, mournful sound of acoustic songs by bands like Blink 182 and Good Charlotte, in favour of a faster paced sound. December contains sad lyrics, but an upbeat sound and hopeful message. Final track, Rock Bottom could easily be a Blink 182 song. Complicated bass riffs follow drums which take the lead and a catchy chorus which will be screamed back at the band at their live shows. This has all the makings of a fan favourite.

A fast paced, fun album that takes everything Neck Deep has released before, destroys it, then rebuilds something undeniably superior in its place.