When we were first introduced to Milestones back in 2015, they were touted as one of UK pop-punks many bright hopes. Fast forward three years and they’re now releasing their long-awaited debut full-length. While the initial release of ‘Equal Measure’ hinted at their pop-rock sensibilities, its 2016 Fearless Records re-release firmly placed them on the right track.
For a band that had plenty of potential early on, we should be disappointed by the polished pop-rock stylings that dominate ‘Red Lights’. Yet with every passing listen, you realise that Milestones have produced a set of annoyingly catchy songs.
Throughout its unashamedly bold and bright with hooks aplenty. ‘Once Upon A Time’ contains “woah”’s. ‘Against The World’ is the empowering call to arms anthem with female “na na na” backing vocals. Whereas ‘Forever and Never’ lyrically tips it hats to expected clichés before one final round of “na na na”’s.
‘Paranoid’ kickstarts thing with its thriving instrumentation and a dizzying guitar melody tucked away. While Matthew Clarke’s vocals are delivered with conviction, proving to be the driving catalyst. It’s a trait that continuously pops up through ‘Red Lights’.
Undoubtedly, comparisons to the You Me At Six’s and All Time Low’s of this world will be made. Milestones have their pitfalls and show a tendency to play it safe. On songs such as ‘Eighteen’ and ‘Liar’, they’ve followed the pop-rock rulebook with great precision. Even more so when ‘Hold On’ and ‘Counting Cars’ tick the box marked “succulent ballad”.
‘Red Lights’ certainly isn’t going to be a world-conquering record, yet it shows a band finding their feet. The time spent touring on both sides of the Atlantic has paid off as Milestones have enough hooks and a vocalist to carry them forward.
‘Red Lights’ by Milestones is released on 23rd February on Fearless Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)