Pop-Punk. The genre that, for love, nor money, nor exposure, stands the test of time; every time. Keep Summer Safe and Meet Me There are not about to reviewed by Brian Fantana nor be protected by an AI designed to complete its task at all costs, no matter how many legs. Moving on, swiftly and without a portal gun in sight, in May of this year Keep Summer Safe released the debut. The band are the latest in a running reference to Rick and Morty from those within the citadel of vocalist Gian Carlo. No more meaningless time needs to be spent on that, however, for there is music to be had and that requires a level head. Not one of the abject terror that is true level though. Something, something mind blowers.
Keep Summer Safe and Meet Me There are a shameless example of idolisation and its journey from inspiration onward to pen and paper. The band present as a very specific point in the history of Pop-Punk music and anchor themselves to it but only as far as is comfortable. ‘Nervous’ pertains to a time where the genre archetype was being honed. The Punk-Rock in the equation had been tried and tested. Sharp buzz-saw rhythms, gliding chord progressions and mid-to-fast heavy-set drumbeats had been formulated to take the melodic wing of the genre a little further.
‘Nervous’ works via a base of such before applying this Pop-Punk gloss. Track one is archetypical in a manner that wouldn’t have gone amiss in a side shot at the “The Bronze”. Christ, I’m old. Well, ish. You may laugh but cast your mind back to when the genre was at its height while I insert a “change my mind” meme here.
With the band’s blueprint of a blueprint laid down, Keep Summer Safe settle. ‘Nervous’ carries marginal-Skate Punk applicability in one third to its two as it moves onward to ‘Sorry’. Much like its predecessor, ‘Sorry’ is lyrically typical of the genre and there really isn’t much more to remark unto that, bar that it works towards the band’s chosen trajectory. ‘Sorry’ focusses on its chorus as its mains selling point, set to jagged, cycling New Found Glory-esque rhythms. Track two maintains the flow of the debut, and within context, is no more than a track doing its job.
‘Not An Apology’ flirts with a significant change in mood. The band maintain their cycling mid-tempo with a mild hint towards a moodier ebb later to come. Track three is a return to the hook and line of ‘Nervous’ and with this marginally lower and mildly-brooding guitar tone and lower-aesthetic, raises eyebrows unto what is next. Keep Summer Safe have unless I’m missing the point entirely, orchestrated their track-listing carefully. ‘Not An Apology’ is an attempt at epitomising what drew people to the bittersweet genre in the first place. The band achieve this for the most part in another crossover of back-to-basics Punk permeated with Pop-sensibilities. Now, I say “for the most part” as ‘Not An Apology’ is beset with an introductory purpose.
‘In Time’ is that missing-link of melodic Punk straddling the line between Skate Punk and the band’s foundational and harmonious Pop-Punk. ‘In Time’ carries all the prior glossed-hallmarks but they are for the most part secondary. Track four is the stylised Pop-Punk song that way-back-when led people onto other derivatives of Punk. One that isn’t wholly true to the genre but rather of its comparatively heavier roots. It’s with no surprise then, that Keep Summer Safe are at their best here. ‘In Time’ is designed to encourage the exploration of its listeners and importantly, show that of the three-piece. Notably, the production of this debut is to be commended as more than adequately avoiding the proximity of Pop-Punk over-production.
In Meet Me There, London‘s Keep Summer Safe have crafted a more than functional debut. One that owns its cliché adherence as a strength rather than a shame. The band expertly show that through a limiting four tracks, that they are well-aware of how to structure a handful songs into a release. In short, the band’s ethos here will hold them high when it comes to the debut full-length.