Pop Punk band Landmarks from Manchester release In Spite of it All, their third record as a band and the first to feature new guitarist, Nic Foley.
By Jane Howkins.
In Spite Of It All is the latest E.P. release from pop-punk band Landmarks, which sees the Manchester based group moving towards a harder sound, whilst still retaining the pop hooks that made them popular in the first place.
What is instantly noticeable on the first few listens is the progress that Landmarks have made between releases. It’s good for bands to change and evolve over time, and in the pop-punk genre this is something that rarely happens, so it’s very pleasing to hear some maturity in the songs presented here. Whilst the music would still very much be classed as being within that genre, it’s a bit more complex, with a lot more layers that seem to reveal themselves through multiple listens. They’ve also strayed further into alternative rock and full on punk territory, with the heavy songs having a much harder crunch to them than before.
That isn’t to say that all the songs are like that though, with Limb From Limb showing a much quieter and slower side to the band, which is a nice break after the hard riffs heard in opening song Translucent. Whilst definitely heavier, Landmarks have also managed to keep the poppy side of pop-punk in their music, with hooks galore featuring throughout In Spite Of It All (Cutting Strings is a particularly catchy favourite). Another thing to note here is lead singer Brad Shea’s vocal style. There is a certain sound that bands in this genre seem to have, especially when relating to the vocals and lyrical content. Shea’s vocals do fit within the genre, however they are remarkably different from those that similar bands have, and that is definitely in Landmarks’ favour. Shea’s voice reminds us of Josh Franceschi’s (of You Me At Six Fame), being melodic yet a little more mature than those usually associated with pop-punk.
In Spite Of It All is generally a very good E.P., and one that bucks the trend for a band of this genre. Unfortunately, Landmarks recently announced that they are splitting up, which is a shame considering that this E.P. gives a good impression of how great this band could have been.
In Spite of it All is available to download now.