Like Pacific EP
(Pure Noise Records)
I’ve had pop-punk in my life ever since I discovered MxPx in the late 90s, so it’s not a sound I think really needs any defending. What really needs a good defense is listeners from the extreme glut we’ve had of late from knock-off bands. Sure, The Story So Far is basically another New Found Glory, who sounded a lot like Blink-182, but as long as the band delivers some solid songs, there’s no major issue with the apple not falling far from the (pop-punk) tree. So it’s no surprise that Toronto’s Like Pacific sound quite similar to its Pure Noise label-mates, The Story So Far.
No, that similarity itself isn’t a big problem, as evidenced by “Eviction” and “Clarity,” with their neat hooks and solid musicianship. It’s clear that Like Pacific was heavily influenced by melodic hardcore, with its harder edge just barely peaking out over the pop-punk blanket. Thankfully, the band saved its best for last, as the last two tracks are downright awesome, with one minor glitch. “105 McCaul St” has one of the best hooks I’ve heard in pop-punk in years, but it’s not really repeated. Actually, that’s both a general problem and something in the band’s favor. While many of their peers are writing repetitive and monotonous pop music with distortion, Like Pacific is writing dynamic, interesting songs that just happen to wield massive hooks. They’re definitely putting the “punk” in pop-punk.
Everything is just a tad sweeter in Canada (seriously, the people are pretty awesome), mostly because of all the maple syrup that just seeps into the water (or so I’m told). The country’s latest punk export carries all of the sweetness you look for in a pop-punk band, but there’s an edge and maturity that most lack. It’s not a perfect release, in part because it’s not really bringing all that much new to the table, but as I said in the beginning, with punk, you’re looking for a band to crank out some solid tunes. Like Pacific doesn’t seem to have that problem, at least on this short EP. (Nicholas Senior)