All These Years – ‘Pull It, Tug It, Love It’

By Susannah Bennett

The UK pop-punk scene is thriving right now, which is great news for smaller bands such as All These Years. Last year saw a constant stream of new bands surfacing and attempting to revive the scene and achieve the same success as bands like The Wonder Years, Basement and Milk Teeth. Witnessing the attempts of many who produced mediocre pop-punk albums with no gripping edge have proved that it’s hard to really stand out. Take Man Overboard for example, whose most recent album ‘Heavy Love’ was arguably underwhelming and a little predictable.

Hertfordshire four-piece All These Years do not look set for failure, having just released their second EP ‘Pull It, Tug It, Love It’ which is a fresh breath of air and energy. Sonically, it presents a commendable and fearless experimentation with the vast pop-punk genre allowing the creation of an EP jam-packed full of energy, that has the crucial edge needed to stand out. The distinct combination of up beat pop-punk vocals and harsh raucous riffs is brave and gives their sound a sharper edge.

The ‘Intro’ sets up the energetic tone of the EP. Strong vibrant vocals and fade in like a thick smoky haze, and the guitar riffs build and reverberate gradually before throwing you headfirst into the fast paced ‘Fly Larry Fly’. Together, these two tracks ooze vibes of A Day to Remember mixed with Neck Deep, achieved through confident vocals and pounding guitar riffs, thrown together with unexpected aggressive yells, gang vocals and metal core style breakdowns. It makes for a really interesting listen. Seamlessly combining the all too familiar pop-punk dynamic with an edge of angst makes it pretty cathartic too.

‘Back to The Summer’ is undoubtedly the strongest track. It’s catchy as hell, illustrates the band’s high energy and would sound great live. It’s the embodiment of pop-punk – it opens with Adam’s robust and retrospective vocals demanding to be taken ‘back to the summer’, before plunging you into a simple but infectious song.

‘Ideas Pulled the Trigger, Instinct Loaded the Gun’ is another dynamic and fast paced pop-punk song combining a catchy energetic riff with more heavily distorted parts and intricate metal core riffs. However, the layering of the vocals at the end of the track leaves the song sounding muddled and disappointing.

Lyrically, they are adept at evoking the archetypal melancholy and emotion inherent to pop-punk, leaving you unable to resist a sing along. Nimble, melodic guitar riffs carry you through the song at speed, making it one that gets stuck in your head and that you can listen to over and over again. It’s an admirable way to end the EP.

‘Pull It, Tug It, Love It’ is a strong release for All These Years. Stylistically, the EP’s harsher edge was unexpected but it made it a treat to listen to, and it definitely stands out within the pop-punk genre. It radiates the confident pop-punk vibes of The Story So Far and Neck Deep whilst simultaneously achieving the harshness of Senses Fail – it’s both heavy and melodic. All These Years have progressed hugely following their 2015 EP ‘Skylines’. The vocals sound much stronger and the combination of exuberant pop-punk and heavier metal core feels much less forced and more polished than in songs such as ‘Abandon Ship!’

After the release of such a promising EP from a band of this size, it’ll be compelling to see whether they decide to stick with the distinct edge they’ve harnessed in this EP, or stray further into the safe and predictable pop-punk sound with future releases.


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