You Know The Drill – ‘Selfhood’

By Gem Rogers

The Midlands. Home of heavy metal, chocolate, the world’s most confusing motorway junctions – and now, pop punk. Birmingham five-piece You Know The Drill are back with the follow up to their 2016 EP ‘Losing Streak’ – and with involvement from ROAM’s Alex Adam and guitarist Luke Astley stepping up to take on supporting vocals, it looks like they’re ready to take this to the next level.

‘Selfhood’ immediately sounds considerably more polished than their debut as it launches into first track ‘Overcast’ with a bouncy, punching riff. Classic pop punk in style, this could easily be a ROAM song, but Benji Yapp’s grittier vocals set it apart – there’s a clear nasal tone, but it’s fitting for the genre without being distracting or irritating. A quiet middle eight with rolling drums builds the tension – “I’m overcast / going nowhere fast / storm clouds up in the sky / no shelter keeping me dry” – before kicking back into the anthemic chorus of a song that feels so relatable, and so easy to sing along to.

More pop punk tricks are pulled out for second track ‘Homesick’ – a vocal-focused introduction that’s made for screaming along to in a live setting, before all hell breaks loose at full pace. Brad Potter’s drums are a highlight on this one; absolutely relentless and harking back to the raw sound of their debut.

Meaningful lyrics are a big feature on this EP. There’s no cryptic wordplay or overly fanciful phrases, just honest tales for flawed humans – it’s hard not to warm to these songs. The ever-present pop punk acoustic track makes an appearance in ‘Blossom’, which is lyrically strong and emotive – “trust me, I’ve been there before / I know how hard it is to feel like no one would notice if you left”.

Finishing up the five track EP is latest single ‘Snake Eyes’, featuring Joey Fleming of In Her Own Words. A little more delicate than the unashamedly upbeat first three tracks, but still spirited; it’s the least memorable song on first listen, but the sort that grows to become a favourite. It feels like it could do with a little less gloss and a little more power, but it’s solid overall.

Not such a huge leap sonically from ‘Losing Streak’ to alienate existing fans , yet still fresh and accessible enough to attract new listeners – this is an EP from a band perfecting their art. Catchy, memorable, and perfect for singalongs, ‘Selfhood’ is exactly what You Know The Drill need to step up towards the pop punk big leagues.

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