29/04/2015 | Man Overboard – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

Becci Stanley

After a lengthy and saddening silence, pop punk poster boys Man Overboard are back; still singing about feelings and girls and their friends, still catchy as ever and still inciting the crowd into a riot. They bring with them up and coming stars Smile and Burn, Roam and Moose Blood who all bring something a little bit different to the mixture, all with the same unanimous, crowd-inciting reaction.

All the way from Berlin, Smile and Burn take to the stage with their strange infusion of pop punk, hardcore, and at some confusing times even hip hop that confuses the crowd with whether to dance, jump or, well anything could go at this point really… But one thing is fact, not one person is still in the Slade Rooms the minute they take to the stage. They may be relatively unknown, but their positive and fun-loving attitude is so infectious it’s hard not to have a great time.

Heavyweights Roam follow this eclectic set; bringing as much force as a tsunami as the crowd immediately throw themselves at the barrier as quickly as possible to get in on the angst-ridden music as quickly as possible. Its hard not to feel the urge to move with the drums pounding with an immeasurable force, the guitars wailing and chugging like a storm in full swing and the vocals roaring around the room.

Moose Blood calm the pace right down with their lucid grunge-tinged emo/pop punk hybrid of a sound which combines smooth, melodic and spine-tingling interludes of tinkling cymbals and echoing vocals with the harsh crash of the bass drum, deafening and gritty vocals and a driving bass line that rumbles through the floor and straight to your heart strings. With little crowd interaction, each song blends intrinsically as if a tapestry is being weaved in front of you taking you on a journey from start to finish.

To maintain their title as one of the best live pop punk bands around; Man Overboard take to the stage jumping straight into anthemic pop punk odes from their influential album Real Talk that has every crowd member screaming their hearts out as they break all over again to the hard-hitting and nostalgic lyrics. They blend this with new tracks that show the progression of the band into a more experimental sound with an essence of hardcore in the chugging chords, of pop in some of the more soulful vocal parts and intricate guitar and bass lines that show just how far this band have come. It’s not just their musical talent that is captivating, they create a real rapport with the audience with a combination of jokes, stories relating to the area from past tours and all sorts of conversational starter that makes every single member of the audience feel welcome and involved with the show, this is not to mention the hours they spend after the show hanging around and talking to every attendee for as long as physically possible.

The amount of energy that went into this show from all of the bands involved and crowd members could of powered the city; and the amount of emotion expressed could of inspired novel after novel. Man Overboard have once again shown why they are such an influential band within the pop punk scene as well as Smile and Burn, Roam and Moose Blood expressing why they are quickly gaining popularity; all through their sheer passion for the music they love and the hard work they put in consistently.