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Album Review: Water Lane by Above Them

Yorkshire punk rockers Above Them release their third album Water Lane via Specialist Subject Records on the 18th September. A raucous, instantaneous affair from start to finish you’ll be left with a smile on your face and the feeling that you’ve heard something refreshing and genuine.

There’s integrity to the sound of Above Them, the sound of three guys doing something they enjoy, acting as cathartic release from everyday life. It’s a quality that comes with most Specialist Subject Records releases and is worthy of your attention.

Lots has changed for Above Them since the release of their last album three years ago; line up changes have come and gone, fatherhood, marriage. What hasn’t changed is their ability to write incredible melodic punk rock songs. Water Lane shows a natural progression from where they left off, bringing in subtle new influences and developing that distinctive Above Them sound.

Water Lane starts with the gentle opening of ‘Theories Of Planned Behaviour’ before kicking into life with the punk energy of ‘Cutting Loose’. The melodic punk hooks of ‘We’re All Going Down’ and ‘Too Little, Too Late’ sucker you in and set the album up nicely. Sure there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking on display, rather it’s the sense of fun and honesty that gives the band their appeal.

‘Old Roots’ displays the progression of the band, simmering with their trademark punk energy it’s that little bit more catchy and immediate than previous output. The structure has to be admired and is carried through to the almost Nirvana-esque ‘Sink or Gin’. There’s a kind of refined reckless abandon to the track that gives the track an infectious quality that leaves you begging for more. ‘The River’ stands out as being one of the strongest tracks on Water Lane. The soaring riffs clash brilliantly with the punk vocal of Oli Wood, as the track breaks down with the riffs throbbing and rumbling it sets up the sporadic explosions of guitars wonderfully.

There’s a more traditional raucous punk energy to ‘Old Friend’ before title track ‘Water Lane’ marks another high point with its mellow and emotional vibe. It sits perfectly in stark comparison to the thunderous and aggressive sing along quality of ‘Broken Bones’. Both are excellent tracks. Water Lane signs off in style with the anthemic punk of ‘Dying Wasn’t Good Enough’, throw caution to wind, raise your fists and chant along.

While Water Lane may sound familiar, it’s refreshingly honest with no airs or graces. Punk rock done well.

AD Rating 7/10

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