It’s been a while since I covered pop-punk releases on these pages, so one of these releases from the Engineer Records comes in handy for this occasion. I have to admit that I am not entirely familiar with contemporary pop-punk scene, but I stumbled upon some brilliant pop-punk groups here and there. Side Project is one of the latest additions to the Engineer Records roster, as far as I am informed, so recently this label released their debut full-length called Bittersweet. Still, this is not the first recording by this Leicester quintet. Since their formation, the group released series of singles, such as 2002, Sanity, A Thousand Goodbyes, Worst Of Me, It’s Not A Title It’s A Label, and Sad Songs. Today, I would like to talk a bit more about their full-length material.
Bittersweet consists of eleven ear-appealing pop-punk songs that differ in one way or another. Still, the entire recording sounds compact and meets all the standards of the latest pop-punk trends. Besides vividly hearable dominance of contemporary pop-punk sound, you may hear some other popular subgenres, such as melodic punk rock, post-hardcore, indie rock, and emo. However, Side Project keeps their tunes within modern pop-punk circles as much as possible, and these other elements are there to highlight particular segments. Side Project easily transits from mellow sounds to more aggressive tones, from calmy melodies to more dynamic riffs, but it seems that the group leans towards more polyphonic waters while the aggressive moments serve to give a bit of diversity.
Each composition offers pleasant, soothing, ear-appealing melodies, harmonies, chord progressions, and riffs. Side Project transforms from mellow verses to cathartic, singalongish choruses with such ease, and those are the moments where the group showcases its full potential. The group pays a lot of attention to every single detail. From flawlessly performed rhythm and lead guitar parts over thoughtfully assembled basslines to excellent drumming performance and profoundly melodic lead vocals, Side Project possesses everything you ever needed from a pop-punk band. Bittersweet comes on a compact disc, but you can also listen to it on streaming platforms. Head over to Engineer Records for more detailed information about ordering.