Neck Deep Releases Self-Titled Album – Review
Written by mccormacke1 on January 20, 2024
Review by Amber Bintliff —
Neck Deep released their highly anticipated self-titled fifth album on January 19, 2024. This ten-track record revisits the UK band’s pop-punk roots, while simultaneously looking toward what the future holds for them as a group through a fun and hopeful lens. Despite the obvious influence of their previous works, Neck Deep doesn’t feel like a carbon copy of everything they have ever done. This project blends all the elements of their classic fast-paced pop-punk style while still sounding new and refreshing.
Not only does this album feel true to Neck Deep’s roots, it is Neck Deep. When asked about how they decided to declare this a self-titled album in an interview with Kerrang Magazine, lead singer Ben Barlow expressed that, “It’s how we’ve always heard ourselves sounding, and it is exactly what this record is. It just made sense to call it Neck Deep, because that’s what it is!”
This album wraps together their journey of becoming arguably one of the best and most beloved pop-punk bands of this generation and their love for their art form with a perfect little ribbon. It is also fully self-written and produced by the band in their hometown of Wrexhem, Wales, which allowed them to really focus on exactly how they wanted this record to be cultivated with full creative freedom.
Diving into my favorites of this record, there’s no better place to begin than with the album’s second track, “Sort Yourself Out.” This song immediately grabs your attention and sets up this album as a vibrant, fast-paced, and fun listen. Its lyrical content is centered around a self-absorbed and toxic partner that Barlow begs to sort out personal issues and stop dragging him down- displayed over a guitar-heavy instrumental. It doesn’t get more classically pop-punk than that if you ask me.
“This Is All My Fault” feels like a track straight from their quintessential 2015 release Life’s Not Out To Get You,and reigns as my number one favorite on Neck Deep. Putting this song directly after “Sort Yourself Out” is definitely an amazing track-listing choice. Both feel extremely comparable with Neck Deep’s established creative recipe of energetic instrumentals, massively catchy choruses, and heartbreak driven lyrics. This one is a little more on the self-deprecating side of things, with lyrics including “I’m thinking of building you a perfect new replica / It thinks and it feels like me / But it’s not as pathetic,” and “Just walk away like they all do / I won’t hold you back / I know this is all my fault.”
“Moody Weirdo” is the final track on Neck Deep and serves as a perfectly crafted closer to this record. The song could be interpreted as a three minute and 17 second trip down memory lane that embraces the future and serves as a reminder that change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It contains one of my favorite lyrics from the album: “Soak up the rain / Make way for the hurricane.”
Most importantly, “Moody Weirdo” feels like Neck Deep recounting everything they have learned throughout their lives and career, along with how they plan to continue to grow and change in the future.
Neck Deep will forever hold a special place in my heart for being the band that fully sparked my love for the pop-punk genre. This record is so authentically true to the band and definitely has 2024 starting off on a high note. I can only imagine how much better all these tracks are going to sound live once Neck Deep embark on their upcoming U.S. tour. Until then, you can find me with this album on repeat for as long as humanly possible (and beyond).
Images from Amazon Music.