Sound: It's hard to know where to start when describing Better Without You. Based on their Seriously EP, it can agreed that they are a band with a lot to offer. For all those of us who are filled with nostalgia, longing for the good old days of the early 2000's when pop-punk was riding the airwaves and MTV was still a music channel, Better Without You may be the answer to your prayers. Obviously influenced by the greats of the genre, BWY's 4 song EP is crammed full of songs hinting at following in the footsteps of Blink-182, Fenix TX, MxPx, Mest, Allister, Midtown, The Starting Line, and possibly Over It. Filled with aggressive yet melodically poppy guitars, solid bass lines, and thundering drumming, Seriously is an EP that successfully gives us a taste of what the band has to offer and thus keeps us waiting for more. Cutting Ties is a perfect example of a song with such instrumentals. The bass line is punchy and in-your-face whilst the guitars perfectly suit the songs pop based vibe. Yet for all the talk of sounding like the classics, thrown into the mix are the sounds of today's power-pop sensibilities. A mixture of old and new pop-punk, BWY are definitely a band to keep an eye on. // 8
Lyrics: As mentioned beforehand, Better Without You take a slightly more modern approach to their singing. The vocals are much in the same vein as modern pop-punk/ emo bands like Hit The Lights, Cute Is What We Aim For, Driving East, and Quietdrive. Some people may view this as a bad quality, but in response, I shall call upon the old saying to quote: 'don't knock it until you've tried it'. Or in this case, 'heard it'. Because I can almost guarantee that BWY's Seriously EP will captivate your minds. Regardless of whether or not you like the singing style, each song's melody and tunes will stick in your head like a splinter in your ass-cheek, with the biggest of those splinters being The Long Drive. Seriously listen at you own risk. // 7
Overall Impression: From the get go, Better Without You are a band that you will immediately take a liking to. Their catchy fusion or new and old pop-punk will keep any fan of the genre glued to their iPods like a pedophile to a playground. Each song on Seriously has a melody so catchy it should be illegal. I don't normally input my personal views into a review, but in this case my only criticism is the song From Start To Finish. It has the potential to be a good song but the shoddy recording brings the otherwise all-too-short and all-too-good EP a little lower on the rating-scale. Apart from that, enjoy. And if you can't seem to, I'd suggest you go and play in traffic.
The EP is available for downloading at betterwithoutyou.com. // 8
- Adam Webb (c) 2008