Pop-punk used to be a massive deal. There was just something so fun about the easy-going merger of speedy punk tempos with pop-influenced melodies and lyrics. However, after watching As It Is saunter lazily through their recent set in Plymouth, it’s fair to say that the genre needs a major reinvention.
Opening were Jule Vera, a female-fronted, Pvris-inspired band hailing from Alabama. Although their ability to collectively front an outstanding shampoo commercial, the band also held their own upon the stage and gave a performance that showed up the following groups. They supplied the audience with something that was in rare supply throughout the night: variety. With drum descants, involving the audience member’s, the group were a far cry from being boring and were actually quite difficult to keep your eyes away from. If I’d have known what was to follow, then I probably would have appreciated them even more.
Up next were With Confidence, a tedious echo of All Time Low. Praise should be extolled for their stage-energy, but honestly, it would be a lie to commend anything else about their dishevelled excuse of a performance. The band executed nothing that inspired originality, and they clung so firmly to the pop-punk manual that their hands bled with the tears of artistic bands who should have been given their stage-time. Where was the experimentation? Where was the entertainment? Nowhere near their set, that’s for sure.
Headlining were As It Is, and I was firmly open to being blown away after the monotony that preceded them. Unfortunately though, this wasn’t meant to be. Their performance mirrored the previous tragedy with an added surge of delusional arrogance. “I want to see a mosh-pit” shouted frontman Patty Walters, after three unenergetic tracks. I gazed around abashed wondering if anyone else was as flummoxed as I. Their material warranted no such energy from the audience.
As It Is produce music for the sake of producing music, and that’s fine if you’re not a lover of anything cleverly assembled. Throughout their set their songs merged into one long cacophony of unartistic drivel, and I longed for the cessation of hostilities against art. The sound system in the venue was also relatively dire, but in this instance I was nothing but grateful.
If I were ten years younger and much less educated about the world of music, then perhaps I would have enjoyed the evening. But frankly, I feel scorned and uninspired from the event. Pop-punk will become a dying genre unless bands begin to evolve.