Whilst listening to Nathan Detroit’s Peace of Mind EP I wondered if people are happy with digesting pop punk band after pop punk band who are happy to just regurgitate each other’s material. How many You Me at Sixs, Kids in Glass Houses’, Paramores and Lower than Atlantis’ do we really need and what’s defining them outside of having different sounding vocalists? I can’t help but think that pop punk has plateaued and bringing something new to the genre is near impossible at this point.
So, Nathan Detroit then; they’re a pop punk band. They sound like the aforementioned bands. You’ve got radio friendly, pop song structures, sugary vocals and upbeat melodies. There’s no aggression on show here; Nathan Detroit want you to stick your arm round a friend and pogo your floppy fringes off and for the most part it’s difficult to criticise a band that sound like such a lovely bunch of happy lads. Your Mum would certainly approve of their poster on your wall.
Now let’s talk music; Peace of Mind kicks into action with The Way Down which is a glittery, jangly anthem with big, soaring choruses that see the shiny guitar tones opt for a bit of overdrive to give things a satisfying punch. Some songs tend to favour the overdrive pedal a little more than others like the explosive Never Enough which bursts out the gates and keeps up the pace for the entirety of the song. It’s all very well written and absolutely crammed with earworm choruses that will help the band appeal to a huge audience.
So why does the whole EP leave a massive emptiness in my ears? Nathan Detroit’s music is so devoid of creativity that it simply becomes an occurrence instead of an event. The pop punk formula is so established now that Nathan Detroit could simply change their name to Me Vs Hero and nobody would notice. There is nothing identifying about the band’s music and it’s a bit sad listening to a band that offer nothing unique.
The real shame is that there is nothing particularly wrong with the band’s music. The choruses are memorable, the riffs are decent, the song writing is great and it’s incredibly well produced, but listening to it is like being shown two different shades of Dulux white paint and being asked if you can see a difference. But who am I to complain? A legion of kids will happily lap this up and hail them the new kings of pop punk simply because they adhere to the standard and pull it off well.
Nathan Detroit are a pop punk band. If these words are enough to interest you then you’ll probably like them. Peace of Mind is a solid, well written EP that will satisfy fans of the genre, but its biggest problem is exactly that. Are you happy to welcome another pop punk clone into your life or do you want something that offers some originality? I am firmly in the latter camp and this EP has done nothing to convince me that Nathan Detroit have anything unique that’s worth my time.
Nathan Detroit’s Peace of Mind EP is out now and available to buy from Saint November Records.