Manic Kat Records
10 September 2021
What a better way to end a long weekend then by reviewing a pop punk EP. Hang on, bear with me while I throw up in my mouth a just little …
Alright, now that’s sorted, I’ll try to review this thing with the least amount of bias as possible.
The Embers EP by Nautical Mile kicks off with a track titled Dying Light, which like every good pop punk song kicks off with slightly flat sing along intro. What we hear after that is some chords and some drums, as well as a few little interesting guitar melodies. The drummer does throw in a few interesting double kicks here or there which grabs my
attention a little and the band even pushes closer to a post-hardcore type of vibe with some chugged breakdown moments. Vocalist Brodi Owen shows us repeatedly that he can actually hold a tune, but in the big scheme of things it’s some clean vocals over some “punk” music.
The intro to Purgatory offers us something that could slot into the Blink 182 back catalogue but again has moments of cool little breakdowns here and there, just not enough of it. I’m trying to like this, which I’m finding hard. But I’m also trying just as hard to dislike it, as I can see where this fits in to the market. It’ll slot in somewhere on Triple J, as I believe it has on Short.Fast.Loud previously but I reckon it might have even ruffled the feathers of classic punk punters who’d take offence to the top 20 radio friendly vocals that flow over every moment of the EP so far.
Where Do We Go? Probably the same way as the two tracks before it, except with a little more of an extended breakdown mid-track. I’m two thirds of the way through this track while I’m typing this, and it feels like it’s still the previous track. Who am I kidding though, right, punk songs max out at 3 minutes, and this has gone for at least four?
Catchy singalong choruses prove the band’s point that they are a “pop punk” band and not just a “punk” band. It’s extremely commercially viable.
This next track Suppression is so generically bad, that it’s almost good, almost. Another breakdown section grabs my attention, but I just wish to hell they’d turn up the distortion. It just doesn’t have the same effect when ya breakdown sounds like it’s played on a JB Hi-Fi Les Paul copy through a 2w pocket Marshall. And what do you know, it sounds like they turned the distortion up for the outro. Nice.
Title track Embers closes out the EP with much of the same. A few sneaky samples creep through a little more prominently than they have through the rest of the EP, which gives it the feeling of something by Dead Letter Circus. It’s a catchy tune if you’re into pop-punk. Add some double kicks at the end and yeah, that’s that.
Well, that wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected it was going to be, and I get it. I get that there is a market for this, but it’s probably not in the heavy, or even the punk market in my opinion. It’s a middle of the road pop rock record which could probably slot its way into mainstream commercial radio, with the right team behind it.