You may not have heard too much of Catch Fire just yet, but on their new record ‘Karma Owes Me A Lifetime Of Happiness’ they’re definitely trying to change that.
With a sound that loosely fits into the pop-punk genre (though really it’s undeserving of being tarnished with such a overused brush), and an album name the length of an early Fall Out Boy song title, these Nottingham boys prepare to unleash their debut LP.
First in with the screeching feedback and tricky stick work on ‘Petrification’, we’re fired straight into The Story So Far-esque pounding pop-punk, tinted with a darker, moodier tone – something that we quickly learn is prevalent throughout the entirety of ‘Karma Owes Me A Lifetime Of Happiness’.
‘Malignance’ follows in similar fashion, adding to the pulsating melodies, and some delicately glossy guitar sounds atop a memorable chorus with some poignant lyrics. The sound on these tracks are akin to the sombre-punk of thriving UK bands like Boston Manor, Trash Boat, and Homebound; bands that took a while to reach a confident, dynamic sound, yet here, after playing around with more standard pop-punk to begin with, Catch Fire are delivering just that quite bravely on only their debut LP – a pretty hefty feat.
Frontman Miles Kent has a distinctly Notts twang to his vocals, which is great to hear seeing as so many vocalists around the pop-punk scene opt for an impersonated faux American accent. ‘Fault Line’, ‘Stabbing Pains’ and the intense ‘Heist’ see Kent pushing his pipes to their full extent, offering up raw, lung-bursting deliveries and injecting a decent amount of punch into the already driving tracks.
As we approach the end, the swooshing nature of closer ‘Third Person’ is beautifully melancholic to start, with some more engaging, neat guitar work before building into a bursting, dramatic climax that sees Kent again giving all that he’s got, concluding what is a pretty soild record with a five minute monster of a track.
As debuts go, ‘Karma Owes Me A Lifetime Of Happiness’ is a very confident release, and one that Catch Fire should undoubtedly be quite proud of. Offering a catalogue of hooks, riffs, and pit-worthy punk tracks, the Notts boys showcase themselves exceedingly well and will for sure be gaining a few extra fans. If only more debut records were like this.