We don’t produce many noteworthy pop punk bands here in Scotland. So when one does come to the fore, I find they’re usually worth taking the time to check out.
Cue Woes, the Edinburgh quartet who have just released their debut album Awful Truth on UNFD.
Taking a page or two from the Neck Deep book of absolute pop punk bangers makes the record massively enjoyable on first listen. While that surface level content is great fun, there is also lots going on to delve into and keep you excited for a prolonged period of time.
Intro track ‘Boy‘ sets the tone nicely for a record which toes the line between heavier Hit The Lights influences and fresh, modern pop melodies. Tantalising stuff.
As you move from ‘Fake Friends‘ to ‘Fancy‘ and ‘Money Shoe‘ you get stuck into the real meat and bones of the record: massive choruses, disgustingly catchy hooks and driving rhythms. Everything you could want from a pop punk record is on display.
It’s probably the latter of that trio which shines the brightest. The pop elements are slick and groovy, emphasizing the weight of the deep bass melodies and punchy drums later on.
The record’s title track is a brighter effort, with drums which latch on to the infectious chorus hooks. Crowds are sure to be bouncing to this one for days.
‘Cross‘ is where Woes really break out of the pop punk mould and explore a more hip hop style. The main instigator of that change is the laid back drum beat, which would be completely at home in a Kendrick Lamar track.
I find the switch to be refreshing and interesting: it demonstrates that this is a band who can’t be pigeonholed or tied down in the future. Further proof of that comes from ‘Gone Forever‘, which is by far the heaviest track on Awful Truth. The guitars wail frantically, the cymbals pull the ceiling down around you, and vocalist DJ bring the whole performance together by delivering his lines emphatically.
In the world of pop punk, debut albums are everything. It’s how bands carve out their niche in a scene which always seems to be on the brink of saturation. In that sense, Awful Truth is a debut Woes can be proud of. The record is vibrant and intense; relevant and exciting; and most importantly for their long term success, it labels them as a band who can’t be labelled.
Sounds Like… Neck Deep’s rebellious little brother