Feels Like Home

Take On Anything EP

Written by: TL on 06/10/2014 13:41:50

Sometimes when you get stuck reviewing something you're not that impressed with, it can be hard to find deeper reasons than a release simply not having tracks that feel like they stand out. That's why it's more reassuring than you would think, to come upon a record that so readily presents a song that just blows the door off the hinges as "Bad Things And Good People", which opens the upcoming "Take On Anything" EP by the aspiring Massachussetts pop-punk group Feels Like Home. A no-nonsense track in essense, the song opens directly with the most catchy hook of the EP, yet fortunately does well at taking it down just long enough for you to soon welcome back the melodious declaration of "These are my final woooords to you!" once more.

The band has clearly looked to pop-punk for its bright melodies, urgent tempos and warm, youthful clean singing, but the thicker guitar work and the backing screams that lend edge to the sound in measured appearances reveal an ambition for a wider expression, leaning the sound over into emocore and just straight, energetic modern rock as well. The clean/scream ratio sends thoughts towards the first album from Denmark's own A Road To Damascus, and the cleans in particular can get you thinking of the recently resurfaced Sullivan, but overall the feel of the sound is probably closest to an eclectic pop-punk band like Sparks The Rescue, or perhaps even Archimedes, Watch Out or old Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

Regardless, it's clear that "Bad Things And Good People" is the most remarkable song on the "Take On Anything EP". The following "Send Me Off" is pretty good, but in a more typical way that makes it feel mostly like a solid supporting track, while "It Hurts To Try" and "Wish You Never Knew Me" continue exploring a nostalgia-awakening middle ground between pop-punk and emocore that has (regretably!) been mostly left alone by bands since the mid-00's, yet failing to manifest those striking heart-on-sleeve refrains that would really ice the otherwise solid arrangements and great energy. The title track finishes the EP with another moderately catchy hook, feeling like a similarly hopeful pop-punk song as "Send Me Off" does.

Overall, the best thing about "Take On Anything" is that a fan of the many semi-famous bands of the myspace era can wax nostalgically while noticing bits that reminisce past influence, and that Feels Like Home seem like they take this musical style seriously. It's likely that the current musical climate will soon suggest for a band like theirs to dumb things down to better match the younger demographic, and to reconsider the screaming vocals, but even faced with such typical scenarios, one wishes that Feels Like Home will stick to their guns, for while mastering the balancing act between pop-punk and emocore is a difficult trick to pull with elegance and personality intact, the jackpot seems more worthwhile than just conforming into the typical pop-punk sensation of the next fifteen minutes. A song like "Bad Things And Good People" shows that the group has it in them, the challenge simply is to fill a release with more material with that kind of impact.

Download: Bad Things And Good People, Send Me Off
For The Fans Of: Sparks The Rescue; Archimedes, Watch Out!; Sullivan; Just Surrender
Listen: facebook.com/feelslikehomemusic

Release date 07.10.2014
Self-Released

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