IS FREEDOM - WELCOME HOME
EP – or mini album – opens with a bang, St
Helena having an infectious, riff-driven bounce and commercially
FastPop sound that ought to guarantee the band Kerrang!
front covers in no time. The quality is maintained with Bitter,
a moodier but no less catchy piece, having an anthemic feel that
will doubtless have crowds bouncing up and down.
Title track Welcome Home trips up slightly,
having fairly lacklustre verses before cutting to a suitably epic
chorus… and back again. Let’s be honest – as
an album track, most bands would be more than happy with this
song, but it’s the weakest thing on this collection –
no bad thing in itself. And if I was to be overly critical, I
might say that the ballad Hurricane risks slipping
into the world of US AOR rock – ironically because vocalist
Jay Scott’s voice is too classically rock ‘n’
roll in a world of tuneless indie warblers. To be honest, if they
did cross over into that market, I imagine the band could
live with success.
The EP closes with the pumping Sticks & Stones,
another crowd-pleasing stomper that has a relentless, thrusting
ambition that you imagine the band as a whole share. And on the
basis of this, it’s an ambition they ought to achieve.
Pop punk is harder to pull off than it might seem – just
look at the bands who’ve tried and failed – but This
is Freedom seem to have the formula cracked. If there is little
in the way of musical variety here, that's no bad thing in this
case. With the right luck, they could be huge.
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