Upon listening to Sydney punk band, As We Fall’s first release, Something I Can’t Pull You Through, I couldn’t help but hear some familiar influences. I allowed the first listen to wash over me as I took note of what I was hearing; each song seemingly acting as a chapter in the origin story for As We Fall. While it is a bit of a mixing pot of character, it’s admirable to see old sounds live on.
The first track “Alone” is a relatively stock standard pop-punk song with a repetitious mantra: “I’ll never stop fighting ‘till the day that I die”. The track speaks lovingly of mums and misery, conflicting themes that are often rampant in pop-punk songs; the idea of compassion for one thing and contempt for the rest.
Musically, this track is rather cut and dry as the typical formula goes, but there’s a reason that formula works. To me, the song feels like a bonus track from blink-182’s early 2000s record, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, mixed with a heavy dose of, again, early Trophy Eyes. Reinforcing my earlier comment, it’s a very clear display of influences and works almost as a catalogue to show off those artists. I dare say if I were to raid As We Fall’s music library, I’d find a nice amount of both bands.
The next track on the album, titled “Waste My Time” feels more aggressive and punchy; definitely not as moody as the opener. It has one of those sounds that I just can’t describe, the words are on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t quite label it. Listening to “Waste My Time” instantly transported me to the backseat of a car, flying down a stretch of isolated road with the windows down – it’s a speeding kind of song. Much more of a power-rock tune, the most part of the track feels like it belongs in a ‘Tony Hawk’s’ game, perhaps another youth influence? The song does feature a pretty sweet breakdown though.
At this point in time, the only real powerful feeling I’ve had is a strong sense of nostalgia. The music keeps causing me to drift within and contemplate my own musical roots – which are much akin to the ones listed. I can certainly hear some Neck Deep amongst the sounds, but only very briefly.
“Can never seem to say what needs to be said”
“Avalanche” kicks off our final interaction with As We Fall with a very downtrodden, Basement-esque first few verses. The production on this track really parallels that of the English pop-punk act – with echoing vocals and morose guitar strums. Again, I love Basement and my head bobs along whenever “Avalanche” is playing, but it does feel like it’s been done before. This track, to my delight, features the EP’s title within it’s lyrics; a suitable place to throw in a callback.
The track feels like kicking puddles on a rainy, grey day without the worry of catching a cold – in everyday terms, it’s about not being bound by your circumstances. I like that. It’s an appropriate end to an album with themes of sadness and loss. We had a punchy second track to keep our spirits up and a finale prompting us to keep it together.
As a first effort, it’s not a bad showcase but it definitely does not characterise As We Fall nor does it give them an edge over other bands of the genre. Understandably, the band is cutting teeth and it won’t stop me from seeing where they choose to go next. Hopefully one day these guys will be an influence shining through on another upcoming band’s EP.
There’s some fun sounds and it makes me want to listen to the artists cited. It has good momentum and doesn’t bore listeners. It’s short and sweet.
It doesn’t tell me who As We Fall are. The sounds feel outdated for the genre.