When first introduced back in 2015, Milestones were touted as one of UK pop-punks many bright hopes. After touring alongside the likes of genre heavyweights like Mayday Parade, With Confidence, and Simple Plan, the Mancunian pop-punk quartet have released their debut LP, ‘Red Lights’.
Opening and second single ‘Bittersweetheart’ hosts a chorus that will remain stuck in your head for a long time, and the same is true of almost every song on the album. It’s reminiscent of early All Time Low and You Me At Six in the sense that Milestones are bringing early 2010 pop-punk back.
‘Paranoid’ and ‘Liar’ similarly follow suit with the classic pop-punk sound, with catchy choruses and incredible guitar riffs. ‘Once Upon A Time’ is one of the catchiest tracks on the entire album, incorporating a strong live feel and sound to it. From the group chants, and the illusions of crowds cheering during the bridge, this is built to be played live.
Like classic pop-punk alumni, ‘Red Lights’ wouldn’t be complete without the occasional succulent ballad. ‘Hold On’, easily the most emotional track on the album, has vocalist Matt Clarke tugging on heartstrings whilst singing about the difficulty of a long-distance relationship. Skip a few tracks and the band will put your emotions to the surface again with ‘Counting Cars’.
Indeed, Clarke‘s impressive vocals are a notable trait throughout the record. Light and melodic, his voice create a nice contrast with the rockier-tainted guitar riffs. With it being just enough pop and just enough rock, this album easily appeals to a wide audience and as the album progresses, it becomes clear that Milestones have truly thought out every moment of ‘Red Lights’ to ensure that it doesn’t get lost in the static.
‘Forever Or Never’ is the LP’s final statement. Although one of the slower cuts on offer here, it doesn’t take away from the impact that it leaves as a curtain closer, and is above all one of the most memorable tracks on the album.
Although still the band’s debut, ‘Red Lights’ carries a nostalgic pop-punk/pop-rock feel throughout its duration. You can feel the work that has gone into perfecting this album and it stands as a statement and the perfect introduction to Milestones as strong and serious contenders entering the arena.