Punk is a symbol of rebellion, seen as synonymous with anarchy and dismantling the natural order. London Rockers Nightlife certainly live up to the mantra as their latest release "Salt and Acid" is dripping with innovation and condemning the genre's usual suspects.
Boasting former talent from, ALL or Nothing, Chaos Days, The Fight and already having a run of the massive Vans Warped Tour under their belts these lads not only have an accomplished history but an international audience.
Sonically influences can be recognised yet the dilution of untamed punk energy has never resulted in such a diverse soundscape. Using this fresh radio friendly sound to poke fun at their own industry, with dime a dozen love songs and the daily grind of life falling victim to the light-hearted irony.
Nightlife's latest effort has been compared to "strapping your ears to a rollercoaster", whilst I'm not going to debate the logistics nor the safety violations that come with such an experience it would be better served as a depiction of frontman Paul Fosters incredible vocal range. "Lonely at the wheel" showcases the frontman's ability through his superb falsetto delivery throughout the chorus, contrasting brilliantly with the harsher melody of "out of your mind".
Opening track "Left Alone" manages to establish the fresh direction of the record, whilst hurling huge instrumentals and catchy hooks that I challenge anyone to resist rocking out to. Follow up "Purgatory" picks up the pace, guitarist Will Wilson finish the track in an intense flurry of tremolo picking, giving an extra bite to vocalist fosters closing chants. "Blamer" however is a chance for Nightlife to further blend their inspirations, opening moments gives the impression of a more pop, groove laden listen, but drummer Garth Vickers phenomenal percussion ramps up the feverish tempo once again.
However at times guitars sound washed out and faded, leaving crushing riffs failing to provide the stomach turning impact of similar artists. This is by no means a criticism of the writing, the chords hit hard, just a beefier tone would have meant a knockout blow.
Nightlife's edge is their approach to their craft. We all know pop-tinged punk has been done before but you will never have heard it done like this. It's this awareness that allows them do completely divert the same traps other bands have fallen into. Listening to this record I just can't shake the feeling it has to be experienced live to really transcend the excellent performance given throughout."Salt and acid" truly does what precious few releases manage to strive for, yes its catchy as hell but it also manages to scratch that heavy itch that most artists just can't. The record has such a diverse offering it's like there isn't anything Nightlife can't do.
Written By Adam Hopkin