‘I’m Not Giving Up, I’m Just Starting Over’ is the second EP from Nottingham pop-punks High Tides, and their first on Scylla Records. Formed in 2015, they laid down a promising foundation with last year’s ‘Home Truths’. ‘I’m Not Giving Up…’, which aims to build on that early potential and climb up the pop-punk ladder.
With eight tracks listed, the five-piece have called ‘I’m Not Giving Up…’ a mini-album of sorts. Stripped of an (excellent) introduction and interlude, what’s left is five straightforward pop-punk tracks and one acoustic-led number. The group are keen to emphasise that they “put the emo in pop-punk”, but the amalgamation doesn’t come close to the emotional drive of current masters Real Friends or Knuckle Puck.
The thirty-six seconds of the introductory ‘Resolution’ are some of the most notable, with the defiant “I’ll never fuck up again” cleverly reprised in the similarly brief ‘Realisation’. ‘Home’ further displays a keen knack for contrast, with the familiar quiet-loud dynamic executed well.
What lead single ‘52’ is glaringly guilty of in cliché – “I’m sick of writing songs about you” – it makes up for in verve and immediacy. An outstanding chorus makes for the most memorable moment on the EP, and is evidence enough of High Tides’ potential to scale heights.
‘Bridges’ follows the same uncompromising formula, layers of power-chords often prevailing over Chris Litchfield’s voice. A greater focus on lyrics may have pulled the sound closer to that emo side of the fence.
Fans of pop-punk will come rushing to High Tides in droves. Another UK band riding on the coat-tails of Neck Deep, ‘I’m Not Giving, I’m Just Starting Over’ has enough potential to kick-start their career. Lively and energetic with flashes of individuality, it’s not a groundbreaking EP – but it certainly never set out to be.
‘I’m Not Giving Up, I’m Just Starting Over’ by High Tides is released on March 17th on Scylla Records.
Words by Peter Stewart (@PeteStew_)