Aussie pop punk is most definitely not dead.
Melbourne’s Apart From This are one of several rising stars to emerge from the Australian pop punk scene, hot on the heels of domestic crown-bearers like Heroes For Hire and Skyway. On their second EP release ‘Another Day, Another Night’, the band have polished and refined their songwriting without sacrificing the rougher, rawer edge that characterised their debut EP. Despite its short length, the EP is fun, catchy and exhilarating, and balanced with varied and dynamic pacing that showcases the band’s plethora of stylistic influences.
Apart From This are a very young band and their music has always been laced with punchy exuberance and breakneck energy, showing a very large influence from American contemporaries like The Wonder Years and Man Overboard. The vocal melodies provided by frontman Tim Maxwell are reflective of this, lacking the commercial, poppy sheen of New Found Glory in favour of a rawer, worn tone that emphasises the band’s melodic hardcore sensibilities. Despite Maxwell’s strained vocals, the band’s songs are still extremely catchy and accessible, with hook-laden, soaring choruses reinforced by layered vocal harmonies.
The EP’s production doesn’t gleam with the tacky, mirror shine that characterises many bands of the pop punk genre, and is washed over with a rough, raw coating that harkens back to a tone shared by early-career The Get Up Kids and The Movielife. This brand of emo-enthused pop punk is showcased most heavily on the EP’s opening track, ‘Drowning’, a slow, sombre song characterised by moody, melancholic guitar lines that explode into a wave of driving chords and powerful, brooding vocals. However, this track isn’t reflective of the sound of the remaining three songs of the EP.
Although the band’s songwriting is decidedly darker and more mature this time around, they are still essentially a pop punk band, and tackle the usual genre clichés with the same realist honesty that they always did. The band quickly unleashes a fast, frenetic pace and fun, accessible melodies on second track ‘Messed Up’, a full-band re-recording of an older acoustic song. ‘Worthless’ shows Apart From This at their frenzied, circle pit-inducing best, and the song drives the EP forward with a rapid punk drumbeat and breakneck, crunching powerchords laced with catchy riffs and punctuating lead guitar lines that gives the song greater melodic depth.
Apart From This have followed up their debut EP release with ‘Another Day, Another Fight’, a four-track showcase of the rough, emo-influenced brand of pop punk that the band has to offer to the Australian scene. In a genre littered with tacky commercialism, the band’s raw honesty is a refreshing change of pace, conveying a sound that is hard-edged and intense without compromising their fun, hook-laden melodic sensibilities.
2. Messed Up
4. Keep Your Distance