I have a bad habit of thinking of pop punk as an exclusively North American concept; 90% of bands that make it to my ears are from the United States or Canada, after all. Recently, though, an onslaught of United Kingdom pop punk has started to reach me (Above the Underground, Neck Deep, and the now-defunct Basement) and, as late to the game as I am, I am impressed.
Scouts is the newest edition to that list of UK bands I want to keep an eye on; the band's newest EP, Why Do My Friends Have to Live Around Here? is solid, catchy and heartfelt. Fans of I Am the Avalanche, Polar Bear Club and Title Fight will appreciate the outfit’s raw vocals and attention to musicianship, particularly on “Please Don’t Take Me Back to Northshore” and “Kensington Streets.” If I were to have any sort of complaint at all about the vocals on the EP, it would be that the vocals can be difficult to understand at times, but by the third or fourth play-through, most of the lyrics become pretty clear. And trust me, you’ll definitely want to listen to this record that many times.
The four-song EP is almost too short; I was left expecting more after “Kensington Street,” but that works to Scouts’ advantage. When the time comes for a full-length release from the band, I will most definitely be interested in checking it out.
If 2013 has taught me anything music-wise so far, it’s to remember our friends across the Atlantic; they’re doing good work over there.