Birmingham based pop-punk troupe Light You Up have been kicking around for a few years, and new EP ‘Broken Jaw’ signals a reinvention for the band following the acquisition of vocalist Tom Napier and a record deal with Great Escape Records.. Following high levels of critical praise directed towards the lead single taken from this EP (‘Foxfire’) the band have their aim set on reinvigorating the UK pop-punk scene.
‘Broken Jaw’ opens with the aforementioned ‘Foxfire’. It’s a healthy slab of pop-punk with enough bounce to infiltrate the mainstream. Napier provides certain sheen through his endearing vocals, and although not entirely distinctive, the tone of his voice contains unexpected pulling-power. This is demonstrated throughout the following three tracks, with the vocal style comprising the clean-cut image normally associated with the genre and a subtle gruffness that provides a harder edge to proceedings. The verses of the title track in particular take advantage of the gravelly nature of his vocals in order to compliment an otherwise pedestrian pop-punk composition.
The EP remains intrinsically true to pop-punk convention, switching between immediately uplifting styles to down-tempo moments which allow for the vocals to take the forefront . The record even has time for the compulsory ballad-of-sorts as it concludes. The overlying tune is reminiscent of the New Found Glorys’ of the world, yet the foundations indicate an interest in more beefy contemporaries.
‘Without You Here’ takes the modern pop-punk formula and converts it back to the melodic incarnations of the turn of the century. ‘Lifebox’ slows the pace down for the first minute before throwing in celestial guitar tones. The entire track builds to an inevitable climax and will appease both upbeat pop-punk fans and those listening to Taking Back Sunday or Armor For Sleep.
‘Broken Jaw’ is modern pop-punk with a twist. By not embracing the generic formula associated with the genre, the band manage to forge a sound that holds plenty of promise. and manage to partially break out of an oversaturated mould.