As a genre, Pop-punk has been in constant evolution. From its humble beginnings at Descendents basement shows, through to its merger with hardcore in the ‘Drive Thru-Records era’, it has progressed with the times, but retained its vibrant sneer and emotional crux. Speaking of Drive Thru Records, some might say that it’s sound was the very foundation of what we hear in today’s Pop Punk band’s and this is no clearer than on the self-titled debut from Stockport’s Storm Harbour.
Storm Harbour opens up with the hammer-on-mania of Backbone, with its bouncy rhythms and catchy melodies. It’s a neat little opener, that had you not seen the band name, you would swear it was an outtake from Take This To Your Grave. We move along with second track Alchemy which echoes Ressurection-era New Found Glory with it’s witty lyrics and verse harmonies, all leading to a gloriously infectious half time chorus. The production stands up to the material on offer here too, with vocalist Ally Bowie’s nasal tones sitting comfortable on a sea of crashing drums and back and forth guitar lines, showcasing the band’s strengths and hiding any potential flaws.
The band hit a slight blip mid-record with Persistent at Best not being quite as hooky as the EP’s stronger moments, but they more than make up for it with the dizzying, nostaglics of Sink or Swim and the Samiam-like Breaking Point. The latter featuring striking basslines and a soaring vocal refrain. The band hit upon a unique advantage with their use of programming, which lends an ethereal quality to some of the more raw and jagged edges on the record.
It’s always going to be tricky to focus on a style of music that has already been progressed by other bands, but on Storm Harbour, the Stockport boys prove that despite the occasionally chink in their armor, they are more than capable of penning sincere, ‘heart-on-sleeve’ tunes. With choruses that are sweet as molasses and bouncy guitar riffs that will stick with you for days, give Storm Harbour a listen and party like its 2002.
Storm Harbour will be released on December 9th.