Brummies hey? The big City of Birmingham. The drawly accent. The birthplace of Metals most famous man, John Michael Osbourne (Ozzy Osbourne to you and me). Not exactly the kind of place a polished post hardcore/punk band can flourish, right?
Wrong…And as a guy who grew up in the West Midlands I’m allowed to say the above by the way!
Templeton Pek have been about for a while now, getting bigger and better with each record. They seem to be a band everyone loves when they hear them. ‘Watching The World Come Undone’ is their latest offering and it bursts with energy, melody and finely crafted songs. Not familiar with the band? Ok, so take yourself a musical cauldron (I’ve still not seen one available anywhere, but take one anyway) and chuck in some Rise Against, ‘Not without a Fight’ era New Found Glory, early Story Of The Year, Thrice and add a smidgen of Hell is For Heroes and you arrive at Templeton Pek.
Neal Mitchell (Bass & Vocals), Kev Green (Guitar & Vocals) and Jon Keen (Drums) have unleashed a modern sounding, but historically routed album of Punk goodness here. Opener ‘Nowhere to Hide’ showcases what this album is all about in less than 3 minutes. Fast guitars, driving drum patterns and powerful vocal delivery. ‘Oblivious’ is up next and it’s a slightly slower affair with a ‘Neighbourhoods’ era Blink 182 feel to it. Mitchell has an immensely powerful voice, evident in the last line of the chorus “What if we’re where we belong, tonight?” After much consideration, this is my favourite track on this album.
‘The Awakening’ is proper Rise Against meets Story of The Year (with Mitchell sounding unnervingly like SOTY frontman Dan Marsala). The multi layered guitars in the Chorus provide a lovely back drop to a wall of melody. There is also a Lyric video to go with this tune, so check that out on Youtube.
‘Axis’ pummels past you like a blur and is one of the punkiest tracks on offer with the second verse sounding more Offspring than The Offspring. I had to listen to ‘The Aftermath’ a couple of times to convince myself the vocals in the verses weren’t sung by Hell is For Heroes vocalist Justin Schlosberg, but regardless of that, there is a huge nod to Post Hardcore in the track. Another one of my favourites, definitely.
‘Sirens’ is the lift off single and comes with a video (again, check out Youtube for it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKKUlQ6ldYk) and again it’s hella catchy (as you would expect for a single). It’s full of bouncy, palm muted riffs and the chorus is a big sing along one. ‘Collision Course’ and ‘Black Hearts’ restore us back to our Post Hardcore elements, the former having a few moments of Thrice with the guitar melodies and the latter coming back to the earlier sounds of Rise Against.
‘City of Fire’ is a very punky affair, drawing lots of 3 chord bands to mind (Ataris, Blink, mature New Found Glory to name but 3) before the quite metally closer ‘On Our Own’ brings our listening experience to an end. As a drummer it would be remiss of me to not mention the obvious skills of Keen on this track. Blistering is really the only word to describe some of his playing, particularly in the build up to the second chorus about 1:40 in.
So I went in to reviewing this album having heard ‘The Awakening’ on a radio rock show my band was also played on. I thought that maybe the best song had been sent for radio play and the video would be for the catchiest song and that I might have to give this album 4 or 5 spins to really get it. Again, wrong! I was on board from the first listen. Maybe it was the fact it sounded like a great mix of a posse of bands I really like? Maybe it was the fact they’re from the West Midlands? Or maybe (and lets call a spade a spade here) it was because it’s just a bloody good album from start to finish.
Templeton Pek. You have a new fan.
‘Watching the World Come Undone’ Track list:
Nowhere to Hide
City of Fire
On Our Own
To find out more about Templeton Pek take a look at the following links:
Templeton Pek are:
Neal Mitchell (Bass & Vocals)
Kev Green (Guitar & Vocals)
Jon Keen (Drums)