Iron Chic – Not Like This

Iron Chic - Not Like Me coverHey, I’m digging this! It’s another record self-released via Bandcamp for free/¬£voluntary download, and I’m liking it enough that I think I’ll fling a few bucks the way of Iron Chic. Okay, there’s nothing new here – this is fast-paced driving melodic punk rock and everyone knows that by this point just about everything you can do at the core of this style of music has been done. What’s left, though, is what a band’s personality and style brings to the sound; the personal and confessional touches that elevate music into the realms of genuine passion.

There’s two main things to be said about Not Like This. The first is that if you’re a fan of melodic hardcore or pop-punk then you’ll share my opinion that just about every song on this record is one that you’re torn between singing along to with your fist in the air, or hurling yourself into a sweaty moshpit to stomp feet and pump fists. The opener, ‘Cutesy Monster Man’, is a perfect example with its toe-twitching bass and drums, simple yet catchy chord progressions and obvious yet effective hooks. Throw in the cathartic lyrics, melodic vocals¬†and chorus “woahs” and you’ve got a classic punk rock anthem. Hell, that makes it sound so easy, but rest assured that Iron Chic have got “the touch”. And that’s not such a surprise, really, as whilst researching (aka. googling) the band I’ve found that two comparisons which crop up a lot are Latterman and Small Arms Dealer, which seems a bit cheeky given that the band features members of both. Latterman are well-known purveyors of this type of punk rock and they do it damn well; Small Arms Dealer I know less well (thanks to Deep Elm and one of their regular, awesome and possibly slightly crazy promo campaigns sending out free CDs to twitter followers) but they’re not shabby either.

The second of the two main things to be said about Not Like This is its lyrical subject matter: like much of the melodic hardcore that has such an intensely devoted and large, if dispersed, fanbase, its themes and subject matter focus on nostalgia and misspent youth (‘Timecop’), existential confusion (‘Time Keeps Slipping Away’), hatred of work (‘Black Friday’), lost idealism specifically regarding punk rock (‘I Always Never Said That’) and so on. These songs are obvious a source of great catharsis for vocalist Phil Douglas, and with these universal themes addressed so passionately and skilfully its likely that they’ll resonate with ‘the kids’. Actually, I’m going to break a an unspoken and possibly non-existent rule and quote another review blog, namely Can You See The Sunset, who said “that combination of words and chords … it just fucking resonates”. That is pretty much it, right there.

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  1. […] have passed since I reviewed a record from an ex-Latterman outfit, that’s mainly because it was. And like Iron Chic, RVIVR are generating pop-punk tunes that are fun, catchy and warm… […]