EP Review: Self Portraits by Beware Of You
The mainstream music scene has a fickle relationship with pop-punk. Its popularity tends to come and go, and the heyday of Fall Out Boy and Paramore in the mid – 2000s represented its most recent peak. Although these established bands still enjoy huge success, major label A&R suits have long since abandoned the genre. However, the continued appeal of annual events like the Warped Tour and Riot Fest proves that pop-punk hasn’t gone away, and new entrants to the scene like Modern Baseball and Candy Hearts are enjoying success on their own terms.
The Irish music industry has never been one to champion homegrown bands with a taste for heavier genres born across the pond, preferring to sell singer songwriter acts like Gavin James and Hozier. The scene is different though, and within local pop-punk circles, bands like Chewing on Tinfoil and Kate’s Party regularly pack ’em in. Hoping to achieve similar DIY success comes Dublin’s Beware Of You, who have just released their debut EP Self Portraits.
Taking their name from a phrase coined by Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Beware Of You share similar pop sensibilities to the Tennessee group, writing three minute pop songs in overdrive, using the classic verse-chorus-verse structure, and working in neat bridges and middle eights. The songs here are catchy and, with clever use of quiet loud dynamics and tempo changes, they hold the listeners’ attention. Palm mutes, distortion, power chords, loud drums, all the essential hallmarks of pop-punk are evident and the band’s musical chops can’t be denied. Leah Moore’s voice is deeper than one would expect from such a young singer, but this adds a certain gravitas to her delivery, one which wouldn’t sound out of place on a jazz record, such is the rich tone to her voice. Moore has great range, easily moving through the gears when required on choruses which demand more vocally. Lyrically, it should come as no surprise that these songs are about love, loss and identity which will appeal to fans of emo.
Although ‘Control’ is the lead single from the EP, the standout tracks for this writer are ‘All I Know’ and ‘I’ll Forget You’ which features some pretty sweet shredding from guitarist Tara Behan. As a debut release, it’s the perfect introduction, my only criticism would be that it sounds too polished, but it would be interesting to see if the band’s live show gives these songs a raw edge. Find out for yourself when Beware Of You launch Self Portraits at Dublin’s Workman’s Club on 19 August.
Find more details about Beware Of You on Facebook.
Review by Keith McGouran