Better Than Never, Head Under Water.

Pop Punk band Better Than Never are set to release their second E.P. Head Under Water with a tour to follow later this year.

  By Jane Howkins.

Oxford based pop-punk group Better Than Never are set to release their second E.P. in December, titled Head Under Water. Whilst it’s certainly a step up from their first E.P. Homemade Hero (released earlier this year), it’s clear that some work still needs to be done in order for the band to successfully carve out their own identity.

The songs here are generally very good and there is much to like about them. They have catchy hooks and fun riffs, and the production quality is pleasant to the ears. Whilst the E.P. is firmly within the pop-punk genre and doesn’t stray far from that, a few different styles are played out to good effect. It’s typically your average pop-punk record, with Learning To Swim being a particularly fine example of a Better Than Never song. This song is extremely catchy and shows a lot of promise for what may be to come further on down the line. Forty Eight is the heaviest song here, featuring a mixture of screaming and singing vocals. This helps to mix the tempo of the E.P. up nicely and adds a contrasting element to the band.

One thing to point out here is that Better Than Never are quite alternative in that they have two vocalists and three guitarists, making for a rather different set up to the typical pop-punk band line-up. This adds a distinctive sound to their E.P., however the main issue that arises is that it is not quite distinctive enough. This is only their second proper release (a demo E.P. is also available on their bandcamp website) and so that may explain it, but Head Under Water falls into one of the old trappings of the genre, and that is that the songs are all quite similar to each other. They’re still good songs, but in the future it would be nice to see a little more originality, although with time that is something that should hopefully happen naturally anyway.

An interesting E.P. that shows a lot of promise. It isn’t the most original of releases but Head Under Water does the job for now.