Fairly recently, through a series of bizarre events, I found myself at an extremely nostalgic Panic! At The Disco gig. Upon arrival I was instantly taken back by a) the amount of people there, and b) the size of the room that the band were still filling, even with their newer material. Call me ignorant, but I thought that most of Fueled By Ramen bands had largely disappeared into the ether. It seems though that the genre the label patented, you know the one, that so-sweet-it-makes-you-sick-pop-rock, is alive and well. It seems that we might even be leading the revival (probably too soon to call it a revival) with the UK’s own, The Afterparty.
To anyone of a similar age (23) and who followed a similar sort of scene, The Afterparty’s sound will remind you of being around 15/16 years old, it might not be entirely coincidental that during ‘Cover Up’’, lead singer, Nic Matthew, amongst almost signature delayed guitars, references the tender age. ‘Distances’ in itself can come across a little cliched in these type of signatures, but by this point in the mini-album, if you don’t like it you never will. The Afterparty don’t disguise what they are, they do what they do and they do it pretty well, and if it has got you by this point, then the only problem with the mini-album ,for you, is that it only has six tracks.
Later on, ‘Liar, Liar’ takes things in a (slightly) heavier direction that reminds me, not of being sixteen, but perhaps later teens, early twenties when a more mature, perhaps Kids in Glass Houses sound, would have been what dominated the pop-rock scene. With the Welsh rockers recently joining illegal downloading’s scrap heap of defunct bands there is now room at the top, The Afterparty might even get a half decent stretch out of the wild west that is now our music industry.
It’s no accident that I mentioned Fueled By Ramen before, The Afterparty would be more than at home on that particular roster circa 2005/6, whether there’s a market for this particular genre I would say I’m not sure but I was shown the market capability when I happened upon that aforementioned PATD show. With the right level of exposure The Afterparty could take the pop-rock crown.
‘Distances’ by The Afterparty is out now.
Words by Shaun Cole