Six Time Champion – Expecting Honesty review

6TC EP ArtworkWith a rapidly re-growing pop-punk scene in the UK, there’s a plethoras of young bands emerging wanting to make their mark, and hot on the heels of Neck Deep, ROAM, As It Is and Trash Boat is Six Time Champion. So, what sets them apart from every other band releasing music now? “There are a few bands that are quite strong influences for us; A Day To Remember and Set Your Goals and Such Gold are three bands that have shaped a lot of what we do, especially from an instrumental point of view. I do feel we have a pretty individual sound,” muses vocalist James Dagg: “I think especially within the UK Pop Punk Scene we’re a bit heavier than a lot of bands out there at the moment. As well as the aforementioned influences, we have a lot of different influences outside of the pop punk genre, and I think that really comes through a lot on this this release.”

The five track offering commences with Running Dry, with a fuzzy opening implying a build up only to drop us straight into the sound, all harsh edges, riffs and percussion. It’s indisputably pop-punk, the pop taking hold in the hook and refrains that makes the track so addictive, and the punk in the roughness and unapologetic c0nfidence of the sound. Clear and sharp, the enunciation adds a lean, neat and brisk edge to the music and locks attention onto the track’s lyricism. Despite the very forward and powered track, the instrumental remains somewhat withheld, albeit hectic through its subtlety.

A stunted opening riff gives way to a lighter, catchier sound in Happiness In Emptiness, although the instrumental remains fairly standard throughput the song. It’s only through the vocal work that the punk side keeps in the music, through a deeper, darker and more sincere sound. Gravely verses build up into choruses that will leave fans determined to learn the words for impressive live show gang vocals. The track’s impressively tight and neatly sidesteps a clichéd breakdown, with stand out line, “I won’t let any part of anything get the best of me” infused with an anger and determination that tops off the track.

Third title track opens with not-too-infrequent downfall of a drumbeat too fast to shift your attention to anything else, although the rest of the track picks up to a solid structure, excellent breakdown and abrupt close. Dragging My Feet boasts the freshest opening before slipping through the cliché of a line, “you can take all your problems and burn them with the lies you told”, to a striking and impressive drum outro. Whilst the title of Separation seems apt for an EP finale, there’s little more about the track that is, with a  fats pace and angry passion doing little to wind the track down; only the final few seconds of echoed gang vocals make this track fit its purpose, otherwise infused with the same energy as the rest.

It’s clearly pop-punk; almost aggressively so. With the shared energy of the key names in the UK scene and enough harsh originality to set it apart, Six Time Champion have enough potential to put their name on the charts with this release.

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