Neck Deep

Venue: Republic Club @ Orchard Plaza, Singapore
Date: 10th March 2018
Promoter: Rockiss and Skesh Entertainment
Review by: Maisha G.
Special Thanks: The Rockiss and Skesh Entertainment teams

Pop punk music has since made a name for the genre since the mid 90s, with Green Day being one of the pioneers to this particular style of music, garnering fans from all over the globe. This genre is known to bridge between the gap of understanding among peers and the political wave in this present generation. A platform as many would call it to highlight their thoughts and takes on opposing the political views. A more subtle form of anarchism, of which is being shunned by the public eye. But this music in itself enhances the meaning of it all.

I can’t comment much on pop punk music, as I am still very much relatively new tothis genre. I am however, more familiar with the punk bands of the early 90s like Propagandhi and Rufio, just to name a few. I was keen on getting affiliated with the genre since I have been hearing songs of the genre on websites such as Bandcamp, making it very easy listening. And so I thought, I need a break from all the metal music once in a while.

Neck Deep has since returned to our country after their last visit here two years ago. I did not attend the show but my friends made sure to tell me what happened that night down to the very detail, which then convinced me to attend this show. I was not familiar with the venue as it was a first time for me and I’m sure a first time for many. It wasn’t the best venue we’ve been to but we made it work.

I got in just in time as Morning Martians kicked start the night off. Having created a name for themselves, Morning Martians have since won the hearts of many fans since their Baybeats debut, dropping songs and wow-ing the fans. The crowd grew closer and it was a sold-out show, so I expected no less than to not have space to stretch my arms. I couldn’t really hear the vocals but I could make out what he was singing and it was well on the way to hype the crowd up. I was bobbing my head, following the tandem of the music. I felt like I needed a little more convincing to let loose of myself in the pit.

Iman’s League graced the stage as soon as Morning Martians were done with their set. I have had many chances to catch Iman’s League but I never just did until that night itself. I couldn’t catch any of the song titles to the songs but I imagined it being as refreshing as it can be, just like their music. Reminded me so much of Japanese Punk music which I used to listen to back when I was still discovering the various genres and learning to appreciate music better. As much as I was looking forward to catching Iman’s League, I was anticipating for the next band coming up.

Having been introduced to them by a friend of mine, I wasn’t so sure whether I’d be able to appreciate the kind of music that he is into but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a mixture of djent music and Paramore. It is a weird combination but the riffs and the melody, having a female vocalist fronting the band, it was all too good and when they came on stage, I was a little disappointed as to how the sound was and I was stretching my ears real far to try to listen to the lyrics but the melody was amazing and my favourite song from them that night was “Wild and Free”. I found myself repeating the song over and over again.

I was eager to wait for Patriots to come out to have a familiarity to the music I enjoy as I was being exposed to genres that revolve around mostly punk and I wanted to have that short stint to mosh to a metalcore band. Again, I couldn’t catch any of the song titles but I was distracted but the oncoming moshpit that came about. And I felt the energy that was overwhelming the crowd was tensed and it resonated across the stage. I felt several a times tugging on my arm, and all over my body and at one point of time, I almost gave up and told myself ‘I am definitely too old for this’ but I didn’t budge and stayed in the crowd.

The stars of the show ran across the stage and the crowd felt it grew exponentially in size as the people from the back started pushing everyone towards the stage, trying to get as close to the stage as possible. And the riffs rang across the speakers as the band started the night with the song “Happy Judgment Day”. I could recognise this song as soon as the first few notes was being played. My good friends prepared me well for this show and gave me a list of songs to check out so I won’t feel so lost throughout the night.

One of my favourites of the night had to be “Kali Ma”. A rather unique song title and what’s more unique are the lyrics to the song. Ben’s stage presence was emanating so much prowess all throughout. Though drenched in sweat and looked like he was catching his breath for every second he sang into the microphone, he was just a ball of energy. The night was as crazy as I imagined it to be and I had to move to the back at one point of time to catch a breather. I felt my body taking a toll and I had to tap out before my body finally cave in into the losing point. But I made my way back in when Ben started his prologue before a song that I’ve grown fond of throughout my stint of listening to Neck Deep intently. A song he specially picked out and emphasized how special it was, ‘”In Bloom” is a popular number off their recently released album. Something very different from the songs in the past albums but a more progressive and refreshing take to the song. It was a step up to a pop punk genre and not having to stick habitually like glue and not being able to bring about a change. That was something I admired about the band that night though I can’t say that I am a fan.

Despite the mellowness and progressiveness of the new song, I have to say my ultimate favourite for the night has got to be the song titled “All Hype, No Heart” from their debut EP. Albeit short, there was a sudden rush of adrenaline pumping through the veins, a true hardcore moment felt to the very bones. It was what I lived for, that very moment that night. The night, from what many of the attendees felt was short, and you could hear the crowd kept beckoning for an encore. Like I mentioned earlier, I was still new to this band and I could do more with a lot more time spent listening to their songs. The only thing I felt was out of place was the crowd. Perhaps, I was used to the older crowd that were far more different than the crowd at Neck Deep and it was a whole new experience altogether, seeing the facial expressions of the fan girls, it was a far cry from the usual shows that I have been to but nonetheless, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

That night was an eye-opening experience, I am looking forward to seeing more of bands akin to Neck Deep but I need to prepare my body for what’s to come. Thank you Rockiss and Skesh Entertainment for an amazing night.