Believe You Me – Up From Here EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Believe You Me’s debut album, For The Record, channeled early All Time Low and Hit The Lights – it was rapid pop-punk, fast, and to the point. However, the album didn’t have any element that made it stand out from the countless of other pop-punk albums released every year. It was standard and formulaic. It sounded like a band’s debut pop-punk record – nothing new, nothing special, nothing more. As a result, For The Record lacked any true lasting value, falling to the wayside due to all the other pop-punk bands out there today.
Now two years later, Believe You Me are back with Up From Here, and it seems that unfortunately it may follow the same path as its predecessor. The EP just isn’t a whole lot different than their last effort. It’s not a bad EP, there’s just not a whole lot of growth. I mean they do throw some curveballs here and there. First and foremost, the guitars and drums play a more powerful role in these songs this time around, making the opening words of “Fell asleep on the couch listening to the rain” on “Up From Here” actually become etched in your mind. Because the guitars suddenly cut out and only Taylor Katt’s vocals are heard over tepid drumming here, he’s in the spotlight this time. Moments like this – the musical composition actually amplifying different aspects of the band’s talents, in this case the vocals – exercise the band’s growth over the last two years, but the problem is these moments seem few and far between.
However, while such instances do establish growth for Believe You Me, most of Up From Here just becomes tired, which is never a good thing for a 5-song EP. Even the employment of The Dangerous Summer’s AJ Perdomo never really hits you in the face like you want it to. The track lacks a memorable chorus or harmony – I wanted a dual vocal performance between Katt and Perdomo, a call and return maybe. There’s no moment where your jaw hits the floor and you rewind to that point – it sounds just like any other track the band has written. AJ has been killing it with guest spots lately, but this one falls short of expectations – the track just feels long and seems to drag on. Even the repetition of “I’ll float on / Somehow I’ll make it” that seems like it’s about to take off into a huge hook never really amounts to anything at all, the song just ends.
Thankfully, “Heart Of Gold” picks up some slack, reminiscing early New Found Glory with thick, rapid palm mutes and swift drumming. The guitar work defines this song, switching from gritty palm mutes to biting riffs to make it stand out. So, while Up From Here is what you’d expect from pop-punk – I mean, there’s no saying “Hard Luck” isn’t an addictive foot-tapper – it’s this circumstance that weigh it down. With literally so many pop-punk bands surfacing every day, there needs to be some type of defining aspect of a band – lyrics, melodies, vocals, anything – to make the group standout. Unfortunately for Believe You Me, this EP falls short on that aspect. It’s catchy and fun, sure, but it will lack the staying power it needs. If the guys can vary their style and change up the formula more often, with bigger hooks and choruses, their next effort could be huge – they have potential, they just need to better define it.
I thought this was a pretty big improvement over For the Record. I loved that record, but I thought this was a nice step in the right direction. For what it is, though, it's fantastic pop-punk. And fans of pop-punk will surely eat this up.
Hey Ryan, MAJOR improvement on this review over your previous ones in terms of writing style. What did you try that's helped? Keep it up!
Thanks Matt! Seriously, that just made my day - such a great feeling
I just tried to really delve into the specifics of songs in terms of what stood out to me - what exact pieces and parts I really liked verses found bland. I aimed for specifics and details this time around, using voice to drive the points. Worked really hard on this one and had a lot more fun with it - it was different, new, and enjoyable. Going to keep trying things like this with all my reviews.
Thank you so much for the inspiration and comment. Happy to hear your thoughts in the future, always