EP REVIEW: Next Year – Waterfalls

NEXT YEAR are a Pop Punk band from the UK. Since their formation as a three piece in 2017, they have evolved into a more dynamic four piece to record their up and coming EP Waterfalls.

When listening to the first track of this EP, it definitely had a tone of familiarity. As a former emo kid, I am obviously a huge lover of the Pop Punk genre. It was a major part of my teenage years and I am still an avid fan as an adult. It was most definitely not a phase.

A few of the songs in this EP did remind me of some of the older Pop Punk tracks from the early 2000s, particularly with the use of similar chord progressions and tones. These are reminiscent of old PARAMORE and FALL OUT BOY songs, as well as a small hint of SKA (without the use of Brass instruments) as the tracks are very upbeat and cheerful.

The downside is; there are so many incredible Pop Punk bands out there that the bar is already so high. The way has already been paved, and if new music within this genre is not innovative or doesn’t have a new spin on the classic sound, it can get lost in the sauce.

Not to say that the classic sound isn’t still worth a listen. I can tell the group has worked hard on this EP and their recent signing to Standby Records is further proof of this. Compared to some of their previously released work, the re-mastered versions have a cleaner sound and the production skill is higher. So time and effort has been put into making this. They have a decent online following on Instagram and Facebook already, and their latest release Remember Me has been well received and played on Kerrang radio.

Remember Me has the makings of a classic Pop Punk tune. It’s a very fun, head bobbing and catchy track. The guitar and bass line follow a basic structure but have been executed very well. The vocal line compliments this making it a nice sing along track. My only qualm with the song is that it seems to conclude nicely and fade out, only to start back up with a solo. Although this solo is well written and well played, it seems quite disjointed as it doesn’t match the rest of the song. This is a shame, as both pieces separately are great but have been pushed together unnecessarily.

The song Ben Wilson was a previously released track; it has been re-mastered on this EP and it sounds great. It is a very cute and cheery song which really draws you in. It has a great hook and a sweet story about being young and free, living life out of a caravan. I really like this track, it flows really nicely, its balanced well and I enjoyed the new recording of it.

Moving on to Marquette, which starts off strong. It has an upbeat melody and a well executed guitar and bass line. However the issue here is the vocal line. It is a little off key and the backing vocals in the chorus seem to hinder this instead of help. In my opinion, it also ran a little flat, as there is no real hook to draw you in. Not to say it is bad, it is still a fun and enjoyable song; it just needs some fine tuning.

This EP has a definite British Pop Punk sound, which I really appreciate; they have not tried to Americanise themselves and this is so important in my eyes. It’s not the most original sound, but they’ve made some great catchy tunes, and I look forward to seeing what they do next.

Rating: 7/10

Words: Amanda Nicholls

Waterfalls will be released on 30th August 2019 via Standby Records

Find NEXT YEAR on Facebook, Instagram and their official website.

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