Offering their, if not unique, very agreeable creative boisterousness to the British pop punk scene, Storm Harbour release their self-titled debut EP to back up a quickly growing reputation for their energetic live presence. Consisting of six raw edged, tenaciously enterprising melody bound punk proposals, the EP is an accomplished and enjoyable introduction to the Stockport quintet.
Formed in the summer of 2015, Storm Harbour has made a potent impression on the North West live scene, one they are hoping to spark and emulate across the UK through their first EP; and it gets off to a bang with opener Backbone. From the first wiry groove eagerly winding itself around ears and appetite, the song just grabs attention, cementing its instant lure with robust rhythms and prowling riffs. The swinging beats of Charlie Armstrong resonate and entice with their anthemic prowess; bait courted and matched by the earthy growl of Dan Slann’s bass. In no timer the song is sauntering along with a familiar character to its body but a refreshing attitude in its creative weave of those recognisable influences sparking thoughts of bands such as All Time Low and Neck Deep. With vocalist Ally Bowie equally a potent draw within the stylish web cast by guitarists Adam Johnson and Matt Watson, the track makes for a highly enjoyable start.
Its strong temptation is backed firmly by that of next up Alchemy, a song strolling along with reflective lyrics and fiery melodies but also and only adding to its enterprising presence greater restraint in its energy compared to its predecessor. It is a laid back essence which is translated in the textures making up the encounter, their keen embrace of varied melodic and pop shaping another highly enjoyable offering within the release and arguably it’s most unpredictable moment.
Persistent At Best returns to the robust gait the EP opened with though it too has variable energy which keeps expectations on their toes as the guitars spin an imagination tapestry of riffs and melody nurtured hooks. Though surprises are few yet again the song carries freshness and potential which commands attention before Sink Or Swim saunters in on a collusion of nagging riffs and a gnarly bassline as Armstrong’s beats bite. Engaging from the off and only blossoming with the great harmonic vocal union across the band, the song is another potent temptation adding to the impressive nature of the Storm Harbour sound and craft.
The acoustic vocal/guitar start to Breaking Point adds another strong ingredient to the release with Slann unloading yet one more memorable throaty bass lure as the song quickly gets into its wilful stride. Ultimately though, the song does not quite connect with personal tastes as its companions but still has plenty to happily devour whilst confirming the promise already found in the EP.
Strolling in on contagious beats, closing track Calm Down similarly lacks all the sparks of the earlier songs within the release but only satisfies and backs up the imagination found throughout with its suggestive keys and emotive passion.
Storm Harbour is a band on the rise, one yet to find its own character of sound but already showing the instincts and imagination to uncover it sooner rather than later while for a first impression their debut encounter is more than satisfying.
The Storm Harbour EP is out now through iTunes and other stores.
Pete RingMaster 13/12/2016
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