Last year British pop punks A Few Too Many drew keen attention and praise with their debut album Lessons Learned. It was a collection of songs which had the body bouncing whilst giving modern pop punk a fresh lure to get close with. Admittedly for personal tastes, the album was as much magnetic for its potential as its eager roar. Now the quintet has returned with a new EP and a set of tracks which eclipse the previous release left, right and centre.
Hailing from Saffron Walden on the outskirts of Cambridge, A Few Too Many emerged in 2009. It is fair to say they have earned a rich reputation for their live presence ever since and as mentioned plenty of plaudits and support through their tracks and Lessons Learned and they can expect plenty more through Solid Ground. Offering six tracks which are as individual to each other in enterprise as they are united in creative exuberance, the EP sees the band toying with an array of flavours around their pop punk instincts.
It opens up with Stay The Night, a lone strain of guitar lure and spark to the incoming boisterous stroll of the track. The first hook grabbing ears incites a rolling charge of rhythmic and sonic zeal, continuing to core the lively blossoming of the song. Vocalist Michael Achilles soon leaps into the mix, his delivery carrying a rousing swing matched in the riffs and grooves of guitarists Jez Giles and Danny Freeman. The latter adds his vocals tones to the mix alongside those of bassist Luke D’Alton, taking central stage from time to time to add another rich hue to the excellent encounter.
The excellent start to the EP continues through Ultimate Glory, an instantly more clamorous proposal but just as swift to tempt with hooks and melodic wiring as the animated beats of Mitchell Holleyman bite. It calms down in many ways thereon in but not in providing an infectious incitement as shades of alternative rock collude with its punk catchiness before Ghosts tenaciously saunters in with the swings of Holleyman to the fore. As all tracks, it seals an immediate friendship with ears and imagination as its energy and contagiousness infests body and spirit; its twists and turns escalating the seduction.
Next up, Stuck On Repeat had no problem breeding pleasure and involvement if not quite finding the heights of its predecessor’s success. Nevertheless its zeal and catchy antics only thickly satisfied before being swiftly eclipsed by the early Green Day spiced swagger of The Pity Parade. With its Celtic blood and viral canter of hooks and vocal enticement, the track grabbed favourite track honours though it is quickly more than challenged by the EP’s closing title track.
Solid Ground springs its inescapable bait from its first breath, rhythmic hips swinging as the guitars cast their sonic web around Achilles’ and the band’s ever enticing vocal prowess. Every subsequent second and surge of enterprise is pure manipulation of body and throat; anthemic rowdiness at full virulence.
Short and snappy but as full of fun and adventure as you could wish for, Solid Ground is a set of tracks easily sparking refreshed appetite for pop punk. It is also A Few Too Many turning a new chapter in their sound, one sure to insist attention is fully and hungrily set upon them.
The Solid Ground EP is out now on all digital platforms.
Pete RingMaster 17/10/2018
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