Workington band Stand Up Arcade are pretty new to the scene, but you’d never guess it from this release.
A Guide To Starting Over follows up from June 2015’s Sunsets & Silhouettes and is a solid 4 tracks of modern emo/pop punk mania. First track Nothing Says ‘I Trust You’ Like A Stakeout In My Car really sets the tone for the record, even before listening with the classic emo titling. The guitar work is solid and vocals are catchy with the stay if you want to, but I’m betting I’ll be better without you chorus is as good as any early 2000s pop punk track ever was. Second track Mindset is a quicker, more punchy track with harder hit drums and fragmented guitars that give a real sense of the broken and battered I won’t be stuck in here forever, I want my way out lyrics that play over the top. Third track Save Me would fit into an As It Is album immaculately and that’s testament to the frankly fantastic writing of this track, more so than any of the other 9 they have released; the tempo is slower, the drums are kick-heavy, the guitars and bass are energetic throughout including a well-put-together solo, and the vocals are controlled to begin with and then rip through the choruses with a grit through the highs. Final track Whatever Happened, Happened was the first single from the EP, and features another engaging opening and doesn’t let go once you’re hooked. Overlapping and layered vocals are the star of this track, with a dynamic guitar part keeping the pace up along with the cymbal-heavy drums to give a perfect close for the 4-track release.
Overall, this is a great work of pop punk class and there is no doubt the band could go far given the right exposure. The EP isn’t perfect, but it is a cracker for any fans of Real Friends, As It Is or New Found Glory, as is their first release.