On paper pop punk is an easy genre to get right. Play some chords, jump about a bit, love and hate your hometown in equal measure. The kids eat it up. Although in reality things aren’t so straightforward. With everybody trying to reach legendary status and still be relevant 20 years into their careers, it means that it’s getting increasingly harder to stand out from the crowd. Enter Like Pacific, the latest to join the ever-expanding Pure Noise Records roster who are trying their hand at breaking through the glass ceiling and becoming the next big Warped Tour sweetheart.
Since forming in 2009 the band have gone through the full spectrum of styles, with earlier EPs opting for more of a breakdown laden power pop finish before finally settling on the more melodic hardcore orientated bounce of this self titled effort. ‘Sigh Of Relief’ kicks things off rapidly with a buoyant riff before ‘Eviction’ goes for the jugular with high-octane vocals and rousing guitars. It would be too easy to lump the band in the same boat as bands like The Story So Far or State Champs, but clearly the band are not attempting to emulate anyone for the sake of a few “For Fans Of” points. Displaying their hearts in clear sight and toying with a level of passion and honestly half of bands doing the rounds at the minute can only dream of, Like Pacific seem to be actually finding their own path rather than just jumping straight onto the hype train.
Business continues at a similar pace with ‘Clarity’ dealing out plenty of heartache and ‘105 McCaul St’ putting itself forward as catchiest song of 2015 so far before ‘Suffering’ brings things to a wholeheartedly emotional climax. The five tracks as an ensemble presented on this EP are a breathless endeavor, never stopping to take a break or slowing down. Where many opt for a softer number to show off their sweeter side, Like Pacific just cruise through pointing the finger and making someone somewhere feel bad about their actions. At such a short running time it is hard for the band to put a foot wrong, so when it comes to a full length situation whether or not the band can sustain the pace across 12 tracks or so may become a real make or break factor in where they can venture.
For now, ‘Like Pacific’ is swift strong shot of a band brimming with sentiment, determination and overall guts. A burst of youthful enthusiasm mixed with heart in mouth feeling to create an accessible and extremely enjoying small collection of songs. As easy as it is to put the band up against their peers and pick them apart, doing so takes away the true purpose of these songs and integrity of a band who are very capable of standing up on their own. If all is well and good in the scene Like Pacific will be the soundtrack to many a stage dive and high fives in the coming year.
‘Like Pacific’ by Like Pacific is out now on Pure Noise Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)