The world of pop-punk has truly blessed us over the past years. Keeping the scene relevant and real, we’ve always looked to the mega-fine-mates that are Neck Deep. The drop of the album All Distortions Are Intentional is no different. And their new improved sound? We can’t help but think it’s intentional.
Channeling everything we love about pop-punk from the start, they’ve put out some of the best quality, relevant as hell tunes. The band has done their fair share to keep fans happy with age defying-angst filled EPs and albums that will continue to be essential staples to the ever-evolving, pop-punk scene.
Thoughtful Wholly Relatable Lyricism
We’ve watched Neck Deep progress over the years from their proficiency in their instrumentals to Ben Barlow’s vocals’ overall evolution. While loving everything about his raw-shouty-vocals from the first few EPs and albums – the hard work and care that is his vocal quality, range, and well being is straight-up stunning and absolutely shines through on this record. One thing, though, that will never change? Neck Deep’s thoughtful and wholly relatable lyricism.
Neck Deep’s All Distortions Are Intentional showcases their most significant evolution yet. Leaning deep into the use of storytelling of classic rock and roll, vintage punk swagger, with a perfect little dose of modern and heavy sounds, this band reminds of all the reasons they’re rockstars.
Keeping us satisfyingly busy through quarantine life, the band built the hype around All Distortions Are Intentional with singles’ ‘Lowlife‘, ‘Fall,’ and ‘When You Know.’ While swiftly kicking our asses with sucker-punching single ‘Sick Joke.’
Neck Deep – ‘Fall’
Creating a story-line of a loner named Jett, living in a world dubbed ‘Sonderland.’ A combination world of a ‘Wonderland‘ and the obscurity that is ‘Sonder’ – or the realization that each passerby is living life just as vivid, complex, and terrifying as your own. Full of own self-worth, ambition, and worry. “It’s that strange existential realization that you are not the entire world,” explains singer Ben Barlow. “Everyone around you feels and lives the same way that you do. You’re just an extra in their story.”
Jet feeling disconnected, disillusioned, and diluted, he falls in love with a girl named Alice. A victim to it all, Jett’s newfound love goes through the highs and lows. Focusing on the only thing he loves about the world, Alice, the story unfolds about the importance and meaning for every individual.
As Barlow shares, “Modern music is so much based around ‘the single’ and writing a record isn’t held in nearly the same regard as it used to be.” Well, that’s not the case for All Distortions Are Intentional. Providing us with a full story, there is meaning in every inch of the record. While most records have themes, the band wanted to create a world with characters, scenes, and purpose in the real world.
A self-discovery collected with personal discovery, the album doesn’t differ much from the band itself. Leaping from a side project to full-time band in 2012, a single track led to a pair of Killer EP’s, followed by a deal with Hopeless Records.
All Distortions Are Intentional: The Creation
Tucking themselves away with Grammy Nominated producer Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco, Underøath, Ariana Grande, One Direction), the band unlocked all things wonderful within the studio. Creating ADAI in a residential studio in Monnow Valley, the heart of the band’s native Wales made an album at home very easy. Acknowledging where they’ve come from both literally and figuratively. Meanwhile, Ben’s brother and longtime collaborator Seb Barlow handled the album’s mix, growing so close to the material, and formally joining the band as bassist after the album.
Alright, now let us dive into the most crucial part – the tunes. There was no lie to making this more than a compilation of singles, but rather a whole story. Neck Deep opens the album with ‘Sonderland’ delivering us poppy-punk perfection. Hook heavy punk continues through the collection, creating the fun-loving attitude that we honor so much about Neck Deep.
Neck Deep – ‘Sonderland’
Songs’ Telling Stories’ and ‘Quarry’ take the time to showcase the progression of Barlow’s vocals that we just can’t get over. Creating something interesting and ambitious, the band wanted fans to see them as more than guys in a band. Their genuine concerns for real issues of loneliness, depression, and anxiety they put their all into All Distortions Are Intentional. Songs for a passionate generation ‘Empty House’ is one that hits the mark. Melodic rock for the ages. Shit. SLAPS.
Neck Deep – ‘Empty House’
You know they couldn’t leave us without a song to pull on our heartstrings a little extra, and boy, are we suckers. ‘Little Dove’ is the one doing that for us here. Don’t believe us? Check this one out for yourself. Slow, simple, and so damn spectacular.
Neck Deep – Little Love
The album finishes strong with a fan-favorite single ‘I Revolve (Around You‘ and ‘Pushing Daisies.’ Both completely satisfying sing-alongs for all us pop-punk loving people.
Members Ben Barlow (Vocals), Matt West (Guitar), Sam Bowden (Guitar), Seb Barlow (Bass), and Dani Washington (Drums) have created something mind-blowingly magical.
Barlow finishes “We have crafted a sound that is ours, it is totally, unapologetically Neck Deep.” We agree. It is EVERYTHING.
We’ve dished about the album, now we want to hear what YOU’RE thinking. What’s your favorite song so far? Talk to us, let us know! Comment down below or holler at us on Twitter @TheHoneyPop!
Featured Image courtesy of Neck Deep PR & Danielle King