Recorded at White Bear Studios. Produced and engineered by David Page. Sophomore EP, self-released on Friday 11 May 2018.
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Released back in May is Someone You Could Trust, the sophomore EP from Manchester pop-punk quartet Fight for Friday. The title is taken from “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then” by The Wonder Years from No Closer To Heaven (2015).
It’s a surprisingly poppy and bouncy offering given that the material supposedly came from a combination of “feeling depressed” and “fun riffs,” according to vocalist/guitarist Seb Harper. The overall theme of the EP is “the effect that other people can have on someone’s happiness, health, and life experience.”
“Life hits you hard” (track 1) hits the ground running with a start-stop, galloping riff. Seb Harper’s vocals are typically pop-punk, a kind of melodic holler. There’s a spidery guitar doodle playing constantly in the right channel, which sounds a bit grating but it works and definitely settles down a bit when it pans across to the left. All in all it’s a good start and a song that I challenge you not to be bopping along to by the end.
“Take it or leave it” (track 2) has a bit more of a punk vibe. It starts with an upbeat and fairly standard pop-punk ditty that transforms a little, following a middle-sixteen, into a slower stomp.
“I feel bad, but you should feel worse” (track 3) opens with what sounds a bit like a southern-rock inspired riff that gets lost when the paint-by-numbers pop-punk chord progression kicks in, only to reappear throughout the song as a theme. Everything slows down about halfway through, with a start and a stop, before returning to pace. This song is the heaviest on the EP with a terrific chugging riff that gives way too easily to its pop-punk roots. It’s a funny song, in a way it shouldn’t work—it is pieced together from a bunch of disparate parts—but it does.
“Target practice” (track 4) is the band’s first video from the EP. According to Harper, this is “the most intense and serious song” they have written. It is about how some people try to pull you down when they see you doing better than them.
They filmed the video in Harper’s living room to draw attention to the contrast between the darkness of the song being performed in the one room you should be able to relax in.
“Headache” (track 5) opens with a clean guitar weaving around another being pushed through a phaser. It has a delicate and melodic feel. This feels like a more complex song, with a little more orchestration, a little more mature songwriting. I really like it. It’s a good track to end the EP on, leaving me wanting to hear more.
This is a great wee EP from an up-and-coming British band. This is their second EP, they’ve already toured the UK twice, hopefully there will be more to come from them.
If you like your homegrown British pop-punk then I can wholeheartedly recommend this EP. Someone You Could Trust has a lot to offer on each listen through, with influences in rock, hardcore, punk and metal blending beautifully to create one of the most listenable, fun, introspective and bouncy releases this year.
Review score: 90%