We were lucky enough to catch Caught In A Crossfire last month at The Joiners in Southampton and were blown away. This week they released their brand new second EP ‘Lighten Up‘ with Coffee Jingle Records. Having listened to it through a good 5-6 times now I’ve managed to collect some (semi)coherent thoughts. Firstly the EP itself has a very raw sound, somewhat distant and very similar to that DIY sound on many mid-late 90s pop-punk albums. Once you adjust to this difference you begin to feel like you’re back in that era. The lyrical content is fun, a bit angsty and a little juvenile – exactly what you’d want and expect.
The opening song (and first single) Legacy begins with a great catchy riff – reminiscent of Blink 182‘s earlier stuff like Wasting Time or M&Ms. I may be biased, but playing this song loud, with the windows open on a sunny day feels like engineering the nostalgia of pop-punk days and playing Tony Hawks Pro Skater (did you here there’s a new one coming out this year?) mainly for the music. With the drums setting pace through the entirety of the song, matched later on by a pretty sweet, illusive, pop-punk guitar solo, before finishing off with a light-hearted little breakdown. It’s a brilliant song and I’d argue something that needs put on repeat a few times right now.
Forgive me for making direct comparisons again, but the parentally advised ‘Bat Shit Crazy‘ reminds me of Sum41 hits like Motivation and one specific bit like Fat Lip (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you hear it). That’s nothing but the upmost of compliments – seeing as from my knowledge and impressions, recapturing (or never losing perhaps?) that old school vibe about this genre is something that Caught In a Crossfire are striving to preserve – as opposed to cleaner and more plumped up productions, adding more electronics to get rid of that ‘raw sound’ and make it sound more modern.
In a similar vein to the last two songs, track three ‘Screaming Out Your Name‘ starts with a nice little lead riff. Mixing up the pacing and vocal styles throughout the song it breaks up the EP a little and stops it from stagnating. The singing throughout is pretty solid, but theres moments when you can feel the stretch to keep it in tune – but, to criticise a punk song on whether it’s in key or not is like trying criticise fast food for being unhealthy – that’s not why you consume it. The abrupt ending only deepens my love for breaking the rules simply because you can.
The final song, always perfect grounds to try something new – and it certainly seems that way from the acoustic intro. However it’s quickly back to the winning formula. I’m sure if I really tried to, I could find some comparison to another classic with ‘Run‘ but honestly I think this song is the most Caught In a Crossfire song out of the whole EP and I’d love to hear more like this in the future. I can’t quite put my finger on why I get this impression, I think it just comes across as the perfect blend of influences, united creativity and enjoying making music.
All in all a great EP, and for £2.99 that’s only about 25p per minute of enjoyment – and you can listen over and over. Support local music and enjoy a light hearted, classic pop-punk-homage-soaked great new album.
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