There’s hardly been a better time to be a part of the UK pop-punk scene, but thus far it’s been dominated by bands from England and Wales. That changes this week with a rare Scottish contribution courtesy of Woes and their self-titled debut EP.
Typically, just when we thought UK pop-punk had got over its obsession with overly Americanised vocals, Woes manage to show not one trace of their Scottish roots. Not a single hint of accent or place. And given this is a fairly hyped release just months after the band played their first ever show opening for Trash Boat, you can’t help but suspect someone is putting these lads on the fast track.
Opener ‘Tight AF’ is in fairness quite tight musically, the jangly guitar fills of Seaway, TSSF and Knuckle Puck et al are neatly represented and the token angst-ridden gang harmonies hit the notes with ease. But there’s a sense this is more accomplished aping, rather than original ideas.
‘Worst Friend’ and ‘Not Enough’ show plenty of bounce and bite to Woes execution, but don’t entirely extinguish the nagging doubts. Put simply, this is the Neck Deep by numbers approach to pop-punk, burying any roots and sense of identity in favour of a synthetic, rather soulless, pop-punk sound.
This effort isn’t quite woeful, but it is pretty forgettable. It’s solid for the most part but none of the five tracks on offer leave any lasting impression. There’s potential here, probably, but there’s a lot of work needed if they’re to make a real impact on even a national level.
‘Woes’ by Woes is released on November 25th on Rude Records.
Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)