British spring time is a season that remains unpredictable, admittedly mostly due to the weather. Nevertheless there is one almost undisputed fact that we all know; pop-punk always sounds at its best when the sun is shining. As a result, the release date of Seven Stories High mini album ‘Take The Long Road Home’ is just one of several elements they get right on this record.
The intentions for the record to be listened when the sky is at its clearest seem at their most obvious with ‘CTRL’ and ‘Fools Paradise’ carrying that aggressive, punky guitar tone reminiscent of Four Year Strong at their best. Far from a carbon copy of other bands however, vocalist Rhys Hyett-Ferrier delivers vocals that give Seven Stories High not just authenticity, but a sturdy back-bone too.
At times it can seem as if the South Wales quintet composed the record with a checklist; Summery up-beat riffs? Check. Song featuring a female vocalist? Check. Acoustic heart-felt track? Check. What’s most important to note about these cliché’s is that while they are apparent, they take nothing away from what is a consistently good pop-punk record.
Power pop track ‘Wait For It’ and acoustic medley ‘Skin Me Alive’ are where Seven Stories High first dip their feet into unfamiliar waters, and it comes with some success. With the former having such a powerful, passionate, ballad-esque style chorus it is almost impossible not to feel some kind of emotive response. While ‘Skin Me Alive’ gives more of a relaxed, stripped back feel and is ready to slip right into the middle of the Welsh quintets live set-list.
‘Take The Long Road Home’ is at its apex with ‘Working For Wednesdays’ however. The track is brimming with personality, intelligence and one of the most up-lifting and grin worthy choruses you’ll hear this summer. In truth, it’s 4 minutes and 3 seconds of everything that is good about pop punk and turned up to 100.
Cliché’s can sometimes be looked upon with a sneering attitude, but in music; a cliché done well is a lot better than a new venture done badly, and in a sense that sums up ‘Take The Long Road Home’ perfectly. Does it break convention? No. Is it one of the best pop-punk records you’ll hear this summer? Yes.
You can download the EP HERE.