Now, when I was sent this EP to review, attached to the email was the comment “Not sure it will be your cup of tea, but will be interesting to see what you think of it”. This immediately concerned me, and I spent a significant amount of time building up the courage to actually press play on You Deserve This, the debut EP from Liverpool pop punks JFK. What would have happened if I didn’t like it? What would I have written? As it turns out, those questions will remain unanswered, as I really enjoyed this EP from the first listen.
Admittedly, when the vocals of “Number 6 (1123, 6536, 5321)” kicked in, I was a little sceptical. However, even though the vocals have a rough, unfinished quality, I can actually understand the words of the song – something which I consider make or break when reviewing albums. The contrast between two vocalists is also really interesting to listen to, and whilst ‘gang vocals’ may be a little too strong a word, considering there are only two voices, they combine to create a powerful yet unique sound. Plus, JFK’s vocals combined with the lyrics remind me a little of early Sum 41, which is definitely a positive.
One criticism would be the formulaic nature of many of the tracks – a lot of them seem to have been cast from the same mould – however, the EP overall is full of punchy pop punk packages, which thankfully don’t fall into the trap of meandering unnecessarily for minutes at a time.
“Dickhead”, to me, is the best track on the EP: the bass-heavy intro gives a really grungy unpolished vibe, and the chorus sounds like it should be shouted across a dingy venue back at the band, with pint aloft.
Other highlights include “If You Really Wanted To Mess Me Up, You Should Have Got Here Earlier”, which gives the EP a much-needed change of pace halfway through and injects a little personality and life. Plus, “Ralph & Alice (The Deleted Scenes)” has an excellent chorus, which I could probably appreciate more if my landlord – who’s completely ruined the name for me – wasn’t also called Ralph.
For a first attempt, I think that JFK are definitely on the right lines if they want to make a success out of this music malarkey. Who knows, a little bit of polishing here and there and these Liverpool lads could start to turn some heads. I definitely can’t wait to hear more from them in 2015.
– Katie Boyden