CD REVIEW Summerlin

Band : Summerlin
Album title : You Can't Burn Out If You're Not On Fire
Label : Rude Records
Distributor : Sonic Rendezvous
Release date : 14/05/2012
Release : CD

This band was formed in late 2008, as five musicians from several Yorkshire (UK) bands started looking for something musically different, but gravitating around the classic PopPunk sounds of the likes of Blink-182, New Found Glory, and the Offspring.

The guys immediately started writing material with all the trimmings of the Pop Punk genre (easy-on-the-ear melodies, harmony background vocals), but also inserting some of the harder music they also liked. For some reason or other, line-up changes still occurred (in one case the band even wrote a song entitled “Sink Or Swim” about one of its members' not showing the commitment he should, while he was still in the band...the dude never even understood the song was about him). By Summer 2009, the band had recorded an EP entitled So Make Your Move, and early tours began both in the UK and Europe, which eventually climaxed in an appearance at the 2011 Slam Dunk Festival (where the band shared the stage with the likes of Anti-Flag, Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, and Set Your Goals).

Meantime, the band was getting a clear picture of what they wanted, which was for no outsider party to water down the nice balance of aggression and PopPunk they had forged. The members' previous experiences with studio owners had only brought forward the fact, that this too often actually happens when you're trusting your music into other people's hands...so from an early stage on singer Drew Lawson took it upon himself to record/ produce all of the band's demo tracks, and it's with that DIY attitude that the band eventually recorded the material for their debut album You Can't Burn out If You're Not On Fire (a quote from former the Doors frontman Jim Morrison). For the final touch however, the band (diminished to the foursome of Lawson, whom also took up the second guitar on a permanent base, guitarist/ backing singer Roo Buxton, bassist/ backing singer Ben Jackson, and drummer Liam Bread) eventually made use of the services of producer Pelle Henricsson (whom had already worked with the likes of Refused, Entombed and In Flames, to name but a few, at his own Tonteknikstudio in Umea, Sweden), because they knew that this man would understand the fine balance between aggression and melodies they were going for.

The album is all about growing up, about overcoming the daily grind and the negativity of it all. And although the music in itself is very uplifting indeed, some of the lyrical topics are quite dark. In spite of that dark side however, the music is uplifting in the first place, and thanks to that aggressive touch, it is also in touch with what young people want these days. With gigging possibilities starting in the UK and Europe for starters, there's possibilities to go as far as Japan (where the album is also distributed), so, in a way, if these kids can hang onto each other as the close friends they pretend become, there's nothing stopping these guys from becoming the next Big band in the genre. Sure beats punching the clock every day!

For a taste of this band's music, you can only listen to the one full-length track, namely the title track, posted both at (www.) ruderecordz.com, (www.) facebook.com/summerlin, and the band's pages on PureVolume and MySpace. I guess that, for 30-second samples of the rest of the album, you might always look up the album's page on one of the trusted online sales sites, eh?

85/100

Tony.