Home Wrecked find their niche in the pop-punk genre with their sophomoric release, Try What You Want, Just Make Sure It Works
Following their critically acclaimed debut EP, When All Goes Wrong, Home Wrecked are back with another release. This time, the South Yorkshire 5-piece have gifted us Try What You Want, Just Make Sure It Works via Primordial Records. I was very excited to see if their latest release could gain as much traction as their first and to see how progressive their ‘new wave’ pop-punk sound has grown.
Moving Day is the first track on the album and my favourite. The song opens with a searching riff which is laid over building drums, they sound as though they are set slightly in the distance. Before long, the whole band are put through their paces as the song bounces for a few bars. The track is intermitted, as it continually cuts back and leaves the riff to stand solo in both the opening and the duration of the track. The riff is a triumph, it is fresh, and in the context of the genre, it seems to set the band apart. The chorus is explosive but must be because of the way it is built-up – if we were given anything less than an eruption of sing-a-long lyrics it would be a farce. The breakdown sees the riff expanded and is explored in all its glory. To mark this occasion the drums slow and we have a moment of reflection, but after a short while it appears that all involved get bored and slam us home with more of the high energy antics seen in the chorus of the song.
The next track on the EP, Back on the Grid, starts with a bouncier riff and pumping drums. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this track opens with such an energy so that it can be translated into their live shows. The vocals of Joe Daniels roll through the opening seamlessly. However, lyrics such as “I am a nervous wreck” let the song down as they appear to copy the generic pop-punk mould too closely. I feel as though with the interesting use of guitars in this song, and the general structure of the track, this one has potential to be an incredible song. For me, the words hold the track back. Musically, Home Wrecked are inventive, and this track proves so, but I would like to see them explore writing more original lyrics.
I was surprised to find an acoustic ditty hidden in this EP. Nothing Like You opens with an acoustic guitar and softly spoken drums in the background. Once again, I must commend the riff that is brought to the song with an electric guitar, it is delicately layered and keeps the song moving in its whimsical nature. The vocals of Christina Rotondo which feature are nothing short of incredible. I do not know much about her, but I want to find out more. They balance perfectly with those of Daniels and make for an enjoyable summer BBQ jam.
Red Card is one of the most creative tracks on the EP. The opening is progressive, chuggy and falls from one note to the next perfectly. The vocals, once again, slide through the opening verse effortlessly. My only wish for this song would be a slightly more electric chorus. While the verses have an unrelenting pace about them, the chorus seems to be a little tame in comparison. I know that songs need this some time, and it is a good exercise of songwriting. However, I just wanted a ‘lose my shit’ moment (but this is nothing against the song or band, of course). The breakdown comes at the right time and has a mature, reflective feel to it. The outro threatens an A Day To Remember-esque detonation but doesn’t take it further than that, which showcases yet another side to the band.
The last track on the EP, Stepping Stones, offers a little more of what we saw at the end of the last song. The song has a bounce, but still has a flair of chunk about it. With a tribute to Sum 41, the song is flung into its chorus which, again, threatens to explode. The vocals have a quintessential British pop-punk feel to them throughout the duration of the EP, however, with this song, we get snippets of diversity. I feel as though as Daniels’ vocals become stretched, they have a raw power to them which I would like to see the band explore a little more. The gang vocals that are seen at the close of the song and the EP, is positive and leaves a good taste in your mouth.
This EP is a solid release. I have brought this up on many different occasions, about many different artists, but I always feel that when a band is coordinating a release in and around the pop-punk genre they really have to take a unique approach to stand out. Home Wrecked are clearly ambitious, and I respect that, I just hope they stick to their guns and keep trying new things. I am excited to try and catch the band live soon.
You can stream the new Home Wrecked EP on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0aAEwFM3SUZYRJQ2dUhRU1?si=DMYREj1nRtimefZmWz3vwg
Or, catch their video for single Moving Day here: