Spotlight: Neck Deep
Updated: Oct 16, 2019
Ah, Neck Deep: The most American-Welsh band we've ever heard. The very band that slapped a dose of British charm onto an Americanised pop punk sound and got away with it. And, I mean, it pretty much fooled most of the world into thinking these lads were straight-up kids from the Los Angeles backstreets. Oh, and it doesn't help that they reference more American things in their tracks than British ones. But, you know, whatever. I think it was back in 2016 when I first heard Neck Deep. Back then, they weren't really known to many people. And, I think other than the now globally recognised song, 'December', there wasn't really a great amount of talk on them. But, that one song that somehow found its way to me one day whilst browsing a rack of second-hand games in a CeX store in Gloucester, UK; that was enough to get me hooked. Fast-forwarding a month or two and I found myself at some low-key festival in Cheltenham, UK. It was a petite festival called 2000 Trees. And, to be honest, it probably held enough space to cater for a couple of thousand kids. And, as for the line-up, well, I honestly had no idea who any of the bands were. But, it was a cheap weekend, and it was pop-punk themed. So, I mean, I would've been a fool to pass up the opportunity.
So, out of nowhere one afternoon as I was browsing through a merch stall across the open festival grounds, I heard one thing being called out from a Welsh bloke on the faraway stage. In a rather melancholic voice, he said, 'this is our last song. We've been Neck Deep. Thanks for coming!' and then, out of nowhere, 'December' fired up in all its glory. And, at that moment, it just sort of clicked. I had uncovered Neck Deep without even realising who they were at the time. The song had been connected to the band, and finally, I had found a sound that I would take home with me. A year later, Neck Deep became one of the most influential pop punk bands of our generation. Small world, eh?
The bands second album, 'Life's Not Out To Get You' shot up to number one in the Rock/Indie chart in 2015. And, from there, a third album came tumbling along. Oh, and yeah, that hit the number one spot, too. Neck Deep had established themselves as the pop punk band to look to when it came to the genre. With sellout tours across the globe and some rather nifty covers with some punk icons (Mark Hoppus from Blink 182, for example), the Welsh lads managed to soar to the very apex of the music underworld.
Neck Deep seem to have that rather unique ability to transform a grown adult into a teenage skater all over again. With vibes that bring back far too many memories to count from our teenage years, Neck Deep's anthems tend to bring back oceans of good memories from a time we wish we could glide back to. I'm not American, nor am I welsh. But, when I hear a Neck Deep track, suddenly I'm an American-Welsh skater from the suburbs of San Francisco. I've got my halfpipe, a beer bong, and a crowd of mates all cheering me on whilst I slam shots to nineties punk rock. That, with the blazing sunshine and a glorious weekend ahead with no adult responsabilities, I am under a lucid frame of bliss. Honestly, I think the world needs more bands like Neck Deep. They're one of the bands that makes you forget you're ageing and just sorts of lets you live in the moment for a few minutes. Like a blast from the past, these boys are always a delight to see and listen to. And, so long as they continue to relight the embers from our teenage years, I'll be more than stoked to give them whatever pennies I have just to feel like a kid again. Neck Deep - keep doing what you're doing, boys. And, please, please never grow up.
- Jord Tury The Void (Editor)