By East Island City
Dublin is a wonderful city; every year thousands of people flock there to experience the riches and cultural delights it has to offer, these include Guinness, the people, the nightlife, Guinness, the science gallery and of course- Guinness. And now there is another thing to add to the 'Please come to Dublin and spend all of your money because' list; they're called East Island City, and I'm starting to think I may have had my encounter with the future of British Isles' pop-punk.
Now, as a huge fan of the American pop-punk bands such as NOFX, All American Rejects, Green Day, The Offspring etc. I've been hoping and pleading desperately for the genre to make a comeback since it all went kind of quiet back in 2005 following the break-up of Blink 182, and with the rise of the brilliant All Time Low, the re-emergence of Blink 182, the imminent release of a new American Pie film and the many promising young Hayley Williams wannabes I've heard in recent months, it seems that my wish may soon become a reality and hopefully the stupid make-up and skull painted clothing of Black Veil Brides can be swapped for skateboards and spiky blue hair-dos, and the idiotic lyrics of Theory of a Deadman can be replaced by those about parties, drinking, hot girls and anti-social behaviour.
One problem facing many up and coming bands in this genre is the banner under which they are placed- Emo. Anyone with even the slightest resemblance to Funeral for a Friend seems to get tarred with this brush; East Island City being no exception with the BBC having recently described them as such. For those of you who don't know the difference between emos and pop-punk fans, here are some of their defining features: Emos tend to be dressed mostly in black clothing with stuff like 'I hate everyone' written on them, have black hair with a stupid quiff at the front, never smile, can't afford to take the bus and find nooses attractive, whereas pop-punk fans were often popular at school, wear shorts regardless of whether it's 40°c of -26°c, tell good jokes, indulge in the pleasures of decadence and have attractive girlfriends. East Island City will definitely appeal to the latter group.
So, on to the mini-album- didn't we used to call these EPs? Anyway, getting things underway is 'Feels Like Home to Me'; this short acoustic ballad reminded me a little of The Feeling, and in no way does it prepare you for the explosive, adrenaline fuelled follow up 'No Tomorrow'; when a song is counted in on the hi-hat above surging feedback you expect the ground beneath your feet to be shaken by what you are about to hear, too many tracks fall short on this front but this 3 minute piece of classic power-pop doesn't disappoint. Also, 'No Tomorrow' had that wonderful quality of fooling first time listeners into thinking that the bridge is the chorus, and then hitting them with a huge, breath taking hook.
Closing 'Me and What Army?' is a track called 'Nobody's Gonna Miss Us'; this was my own personal favourite as it reminded me of Simple Plan- only more muscular- and this bouncy teenage anthem is made extra sweet by the tandem male/female vocal dynamic. It's listed as a bonus track on the album sleeve, and I for one am incredibly grateful that they included it.
We are forever being told- usually by boring men in suits who work for stupid think tanks- that these are difficult times and that we should all turn off our central heating, stop using our cars, holiday in Batley instead of Dubai and hunt kittens for food. But I just can't think this way, and, as I've mentioned before, I think the reason why I'm so upbeat instead of being suicidal is that I listen to the likes of Goldfinger, Bowling for Soup and Less Than Jake almost every day. So here's a message for the man who lost his job, for the history of art student protesting against tuition fees because he wants a free ride before joining the dole queue, and for the lazy trade unionist who wants to go on strike every time the laces snap on his work boots: get a grip, get your head up, listen to some Fall Out Boy or East Island City and stop being so damn miserable, because as my favourite ever line from a song goes- 'No one should take themselves so seriously'.