RATING: 8/10

‘Open My Eyes’ is the new five track EP from Essex based pop-punk trio Shooting Gale. The band are unashamed in taking their influences from old school classic pop punk bands such as Blink-182, Good Charlotte and so on, but as they explain in the opening track ‘Kids These Days’ they don’t particularly care what people might think of their retro sound, and also encourage people not to take them too seriously. “Take my hand and I’ll take you to the rock show/I am not ashamed that pop punk made me into the kid I am today.” The lyrics are full of references to other classic tracks and to say the song is catchy would be a bit of an understatement. It’s pretty much an instant classic in itself. You already know what you’re getting into with these guys from the offset and you might as well just throw in your lot with them.

In an industry with so many up and coming pop-punk bands all trying to compete to stand out and do something different, it’s actually oddly refreshing to come across a band who aren’t trying to do that. Shooting Gale just want to make traditional, honest, carefree pop punk, and they do so very successfully. “We’ve got a show tonight…we really suck…but please come” they sing on ‘Launchpad McQuack’. The whole thing is so tongue in cheek, fun and light hearted. They’re not up themselves trying to reinvent the genre, they’re just clearly enjoying playing the type of music they grew up listening to, the type of music that made them want to pick up a guitar in the first place, and maybe they’ll do that with a whole future generation. They certainly deserve it. Their songs are insanely infectious, catchy and just overall plain enjoyable. The choruses are big – headliners at Slam Dunk kind of big – the rhythm section tight and the vocal delivery on point.

“Shooting Gale just want to make traditional, honest, carefree pop punk, and they do so very successfully.”

‘All Pier, No Pleasure’ plays around with some minor chords and familiar yet different vocal inflections. It bleeds nostalgia like a warm blanket on a cold night, you can whack on some Shooting Gale and you’ll at least know where you are and what to expect. Of course, their specific brand of pop punk might not be for everyone. ‘Be more original’ you might here. ‘Get with the times’. Again, it depends on one’s personal pop punk preference, but these tracks are certainly a trip down memory lane in terms of style and these guys aren’t trying to hide how they are. One has to appreciate that honesty. Their Facebook page puts its more succinctly – “we’re just three dudes trying to play pop punk in a world that doesn’t want pop punk. We take our influences from our teenage favourites like Blink 182 and try to freshen it up.” Arguably, the world does want pop punk, but not so much in this traditional style anymore. Could Shooting Gale be the ones to bring it back? Grab a beer, sit outside in the sunshine and think about the girl at the rock show while you allow ‘Open My Eyes’ to open your ears.





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