We recently checked out Western Sydney’s Fiveash. The band refer to themselves as emo pop punk, and profess their love for early-2000s pop punk such as Jimmy Eat World, Motion City Soundtrack, and Yellowcard. They’re also fans of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and The Story So Far.
The collective of Fiveash consists of Joshua Mackay (vocals & guitar), Steve Francis (guitar), Cody King (bass & vocals), and Joshua Iliffe (drums). Coincidentally, they all share an affection for Brendan Fraser and The Mummy series. Joshua shares “Well when we first formed as a band we initially bonded over our love of Brendan Fraser, but mainly The Mummy movies. When we went and recorded our first song, we stayed in a hotel and that night one of the TV channels was playing them all, so it became our thing. We take influence from their awesomeness.”
While The Mummy seems completely unrelated to pop punk, the band’s friendship and the experience of bonding and making memories is one of the central elements of Fiveash. It’s also woven into their music, as we began to understand when we checked out their two-track EP After Everything. The EP was produced by Rich Mammoliti at Electric Sun Studios and was premiered via Don’t Bore Us.
“I Never” is the first of the two tracks. From its introduction riffs alone, I’m already feeling a sense of reminiscing and yearning for better times. As vocals begin, the track starts unfolding a story that draws the listener in with its earnest pop punk sound. We’re faced by facts; that nothing lasts forever, and that there can be a brighter future ahead if we let go of things that keep us held down. There’s recognition of the toxicity they were existing in and an awakening to see just how much they’ve been manipulated.
Though the track is warm as well as interesting to follow as it continues, including soaring choruses, it’s the vocals and lyrics of “I Never” that pull my attention most easily. They take a tone of trying to be heard through the noise. It’s all very fitting, as frustration is given room to breathe, as is a desire to “bloom” into something more. Fiveash share an infectious sense of frustration at what they’ve had to endure, as well as excitement for what’s to come. A time to break free from negative experiences to learn more about who they are and what they want.
“After everything, it still feels like home.”
With the second of the two tracks, “Nothing Feels Like Summer”, the storytelling vibe continues. We bear witness as someone is observed with curiosity; a person in their past that they are separated from due to experience and lack of honesty. Metaphors and authentic sharing combine in this story of disintegrated friendship, which is warm and gentle in its reminiscing, as well as strong in sound. Steady beats drive the track forward and intricate and melodic riffs add an element of reflection.
As “Nothing Feels Like Summer” progresses, another voice comes through in a relatively spacious setting by way of sound. This adds another side to the story and provides a moving feeling of connection and reunion. Gang vocals as the song comes to a close add to this sense of togetherness; getting back to a core of caring about one another and letting everything else go that would be preventing those good times they had together.
After Everything as both title and concept (as well as lyric in “Nothing Feels Like Summer”) seems to be reminder to look to the heart of a connection and get back to that, whether that is with yourself or in friendships. It’s a reminder of survival despite challenges. The two-track EP left a warm impression on me after listening, and proves to be a significant step-up from Fiveash’s original single. I look forward to seeing what the band can bring as they continue to hone their sound and create with their brand of honesty and friendship at the forefront.
While interesting in structure and sound, the tracks didn't stick in my mind or draw me back to replay them.
Heartfelt and honest lyrics coupled with warm and familiar instrumentals.