Bristol based Beyond Recall ignite the fuse on a second EP that fizzles out half-way through. ‘Selfish Scars’ gets so bogged down in tween-centric, ‘he said/she said’ politics that it misses a chance to shine a spotlight adolescent vulnerability, and instead falls prey to its own vanity.
I’m getting old. So, listening to this EP, I was presented with a question, “has pop-punk changed, or have I?” Beyond Recall have all of the ingredients one expects to find in a rambunctious rock trio: youth, energy, and a healthy dose of aggression. But, the subject matter of the songs is so specific that in an attempt to be current, it risks being left behind. Songs about Snapchat and Twitter may capture the zeitgeist now, you may as well be singing ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by the time we reach 2020.
This would be somewhat forgivable if the songwriting didn’t creak at the hinges. Some of the lyrics don’t scan, “Remember when I used to care about what you thought, and what you did? / ’cause now I’m over it and over you” blasts the chorus to ‘140 Characters’. So far so good, before it trips over itself on the very next line. “Remember when I used to read 140 characters you could tweet, and then call it quits / ’cause now I’m over it and over you.” It’s a mouthful to say the least, and in a song that concerns the brevity and superficiality of Twitter, the irony is not lost.
But maybe they don’t care about boring, farty analysis, and would rather live in the moment, like the true spirit of punk. A great way to make sure people know you’re like, totally not bothered is to yell, “I don’t care at all”, like they do in the borderline misogynistic track, ‘Almost’. Again, this a song which concerns some vapid social media drama (and how girls are sluts, I think?), but also has a horrible addition of some rapping in the verses. This record is the thematic and aural equivalent of a dude looking at his phone all day.
The songs are catchy, but not memorable. Some positives? ‘Get It Right’ gives us a glimpse of their potential through a The Story So Far-style series of breakdowns, and the title-track is probably the best of the bunch. Beyond Recall‘s efforts are forgettable, but still somehow leave a bad taste.
Written by Chris Yeoh (@Chris_Yeoh)