The As Good As Gold EP from British pop punksters As The Sun Sleeps might be lacking a couple of ingredients or so to evade being truly spectacular but there is no escaping that the five-track offering is highly enjoyable. The band’s sound is warm and decidedly catchy, in many ways living up to the EP title in its general niceness. It could benefit with real attitude and belligerence to its character for personal tastes but with rousing choruses and bouncy energy there is little to stop an appetite blossoming for the band’s sound and open potential.
Based in Swindon, the seeds to As The Sun Sleeps were sown in 2013 with the creative union of vocalist/bassist Joe Beck and drummer Tom Shrimpton. By the end of the following year the band found its stability with the addition of guitarists James Broadbank and subsequently Tom Rees. The single Nostalgia sparked fresh interest in the quartet which the Never Stars EP at the start of 2016 pushed to greater heights alongside a growing reputation for their energetic live shows which included a tour with Junior. As Good As Gold is the band’s most accomplished and striking release yet, the growth in the band’s sound and writing swiftly evident.
Opener and the band’s new single Beering quickly grabs ears with its cheerful air, guitar and the melodic tones of Beck its initial coaxing quickly joined by the singer’s meaty basslines and Shrimpton’s swinging beats. As the track hits its bouncy stride, riffs and hooks flirt with the imagination as Broadbank’s backing vocals offer strong support to Beck. As most tracks there is something familiar to the encounter, a New Found Glory meets [Spunge] spicing teasing away in this case, but it adds to rather than defuses the inviting and captivating potency of the song.
Florida follows with Shrimpton’s arms a blur as beats eagerly lay down potent bait as riffs and Rees’ melodic leads entangle ears. Again there is no evading the infectiousness of the feel good proposal and particularly its rhythmic tenacity as it takes best song honours before Forever Sick uncages its own lively and firmly catchy enticement. Again Beck’s bassline grabs attention but so too the spidery web of melodic enterprise from Rees amidst enjoyably punchy beats and the strong if growl lacking vocals.
The only thing stopping What Matters Most from making a matching impact is its similarity in melody and air to its predecessors yet still it has feet shuffling and pleasure awake with its emotively honed poppy endeavour while closer Nothing But Net simmers and bubbles as fiery melodies and energy light its croon. The final pair provides the weakest songs on the release but leave satisfaction full with that earlier mentioned potential again boldly apparent.
The As The Sun Sleeps is missing a snarl or two and the band has yet to find its uniqueness but with songs like As Good As Gold offers, it is going to be a fun ride as the band targets that destination.
As Good As Gold is released January 20th.
Pete RingMaster 18/01/2017
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