Sometimes, all you need is some power chords, a few pounded toms and a ‘whoah’ laden chorus. Sometimes that’s all you need to remind you why you need it. This is the power of Sweet Little Machine, an unsigned pop-punk band from Sheffield who is about to take the country by storm as part of the Fireball – Fueling the Fire Tour alongside such names as Reel Big Fish, Anti-Flag & The Skints. Just in time for said tour, they’ve got a lovely little EP coming out, isn’t that neat timing? Still, it’s very good so we can give them that one.
Monsters is a very stripped down affair, focusing not on over-complicated melodies, but on the ability to conjure riffs and choruses that one day could fill stadia. Tracks like ‘Hurricanes’ showcasing the fist-pumping power that can be generated from the human voice. With pop-punk hints of early Green Day and Jimmy Eat World to their sound, there is a satisfying yelp of UK post-hardcore to the vocals, harking to current scene mainstays like The Blackout. The production values have a nice cleanliness without being overproduced or saccharine and maintaining a satisfying crunch to the guitars and a clear thump to the drums.
The EP’s double-edged sword is its attempts to avoid the creeping dangers of cliché. It’s always good to avoid having the same type of song six times but, as a result, the ska middle-eight of ‘D!ckwad’ ends up stalling momentum, while the more mellow finish of final track ‘A Day Too Soon‘, does feel slightly under powered after the well measured bombast that preceded it.
However, like all good EPs should, Monsters gets in, shows what it can do and gets out. This is the kind of music that you can see someone falling in love with. It’s the kind of open-hearted pop-punk that’ll have someone, somewhere scrawling the lyrics on the inside cover of their diary (or on their Facebook bio, if I’m so behind the times that people don’t use diaries anymore).
Open, raw and vital, Monsters could be the sound of your new favourite band.
Monsters is out on 6th October via Bandcamp.