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Album Review: Neck Deep – Wishful Thinking

wishful thinking

Artist: Neck Deep

Album: Wishful Thinking

Number of Tracks: 12

Release Date: 13 January 2014

Label: Hopeless Records

Due to release their debut full length album, Wishful Thinking, on Monday, UK punk outfit, Neck Deep, have teased fans by streaming the full recording via the Hopeless Records Youtube channel.

However, will they care about the reaction? Check out the Wrexham quintet on Facebook and you’ll be met with the defiant self-description of, “Give a fuck if we don’t fit in.” Surely then this album has been lined up to be quite the middle finger to punk generics. Well, as it happens, Wishful Thinking is actually a very does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of an album. Through the release of their previous shorter studio efforts, Neck Deep have made no bones about the fact that they’re just here to write the music that they like to write and it seems that their taste is not set for a change with this latest record.

neck deep

After the first full listen, you might find yourself skipping the opening track, Losing Teeth, but this is just to get to the crowning jewel of Wishful Thinking, it’s first single, Crushing Grief (No Remedy). Harrowing though the title is, once you open yourself up to the song instrumentally, you’ll forgive the hairs on the back of your neck for having a bit of a wiggle. It’s a shameless exhibition of pure pop-punk bread and butter, guitars encouraging you to pogo during the verse and then collapse in on yourself to mosh your way through the chorus. Add a melody that hits that perfect tone for generating angst and you’re far from having to force yourself to enjoy this.

Despite not branching out in terms of sound, Wishful Thinking certainly does its best to throw a few anthems our way. Good things seem to come in threes here, as a back-to-back group of the most notable songs are kicked off with Damsel In Distress. Neck Deep use some Blink-182 smarts and throw in a purely elating chord break-down at the close of the track to propel you face first into the gritty chugging of Zoltar Speaks. This homage to hindsight contains the lyrics that give Wishful Thinking it’s name and is unsurprisingly the track that throws its all most into balancing the cerebral with classic pop-punk sound. Closing this trilogy is Growing Pains, the second single. Taking the preceding track’s chugging sound to a higher tempo this is undoubtedly the engine noise that will drive the main mosh pit of Neck Deep’s future live performances. Each upward stroke of the plectrum feels like a hook pulling up at the back of your collar and is sure to see listeners struggle to switch off as Growing Pains reels you in.


1. Losing Teeth

2. Crushing Grief (No Remedy)

3. Staircase Wit

4. Damsel In Distress

5. Zoltar Speaks

6. Growing Pains

7. Say What You Want

8. Mileage

9. Sweet Nothings

10. What Did You Expect?

11. Blank Pages

12. Candour

As I’ve said, the idea of this album being particularly ground-breaking for it’s genre is quite frankly Wishful Thinking (oh snap) but this doesn’t mean that Neck Deep are skipping out on the chance to raise a middle finger or two anyway. Each track effs and jeffs its way to a point, and the overwhelming impression you are left with is that this is a band who don’t dress up what they want to say. For the most part this seems to be that skeptics are the least of their worries as they play their genre well and enjoy it. Bands like Neck Deep come under fire regularly for their rock/pop blend but Wishful Thinking is a concoction that manages to leave a taste in your mouth that’s far more pleasant than most similar bands do, when they do.

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About The Author

Currently a 3rd year Journalism student at the University of the West of England. Real life just around the corner and getting excited about new Journalism opportunities! The more music involved, the better.

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