Belfast punk-pop outfit Car Chase City might look like your local skate park rats, but they are a determined young band aiming to stand out from the crowd in a local scene which is seeing a dramatic resurgence in wet-behind the ears collectives who like their fringe’s straight and their belt buckle’s studded.
With two EP’s already behind them ‘A Sober Sense Of Reality’ is the band’s third effort in what has been an incredibly productive debut year. But compared to their previous work this EP is a huge step up on all fronts. The addition of Conor McCaffrey on guitars and vocals has payed dividends for a band who needed to add that extra vitality to their sound. It’s a far more mature collection of tracks than before yet it still keeps the band’s contagious juvenile zeal alive. Structurally it’s much bolder and expansive too, with its ambitious bigger moments giving the songs a salty punch.
Riddled with angst and brattish animosity, lyrically the band have once again taken it to another level. Each track a middle finger to a former twinkle in their eye for which relations have gone sour. Featuring high on the list of tracks not to blast out loud to your very own Diane Court, John Cusack-style.
As with most pop-punk bands around the world Car Chase City sound like they’ve come straight out of a town somewhere in the States. Although not exactly a bad thing, it does mean that the band struggle to stamp their own authority or definable personality on these tracks, no matter how radio friendly or hook laden they are.
Despite this each tune has its own dynamite melody, looping in and out of ravaging guitars and bruising drum fills. You would be forgiven believing your listening to ‘Take This to Your Grave’ era Fall Out Boy with ‘Reality”s supercharged riffs and chugging chorus sweetly sewn together with by a cocksure vocal delivery. Tempo is kept at a breakneck speed throughout, injecting energy and flurrying thrills in copious amounts.
‘I’m Not Drunk..’ has all the hallmarks of Green Day at their spunky best. A rolling bassline the foundation of a rousing power-punk fist-raiser blasted through resentful gritted teeth. Meanwhile ‘One Less Thing’ has the fingerprints of NI’s king of rock production Neal Calderwood all over it. It’s well developed with dueling vocals and a cruising middle 8, but most importantly it has a pummeling outro any contemporary pop-rock enthusiast would be smitten by.
‘A Sober Sense Of Reality’ is a release from a band who are finally beginning to find their feet. It’s bursting with attitude whist having an accessibility and sheen new fans will gravitate to. They’re a guitar band worth keeping an eye out for as they begin to build up a repertoire to fight their way to the top of the UK’s rock scene. Based on this early showing they can stand tall as one of Ireland’s premier pop-punk acts.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ One Less Thing ▶
◀ SOUNDS LIKE ⁞ Fall Out Boy | Green Day ▶