Population Four are soon to release a full album and so I decided to review an EP they did a few months ago to give you a heads up as to what they are like as a band.
I have met Population Four and they are lovely people. When they get the music going however they seem to be very angry people.
The first song on the E.P Kill Your Friends sounds angry and comes across angry but is pretty decent. If you like your music to hit you in the face then this is a good start. I would be lying if I told you I could make out more than the odd word, ‘riot’ and ‘eyes’ are the only two I can make out for definite but still it’s not too big a deal really because the booming vocals go quite well with the punky guitars which are rather catchy.
And let’s face it, a song called ‘Kill your friends’ is doing pretty well if I can listen to it and think ‘I like that, Lets repeat it’ rather than ‘Jesus, that was miserable…’
Second on this rather short E.P is ‘We Know Too Much’ which as I am sure you are all aware is an anagram of ‘Touché Monk Wow’ which is an ancient Chinese proverb I think.
It starts off with some slow guitar and then the drums kick in, at the point it all sounds rather Red Hot Chili Peppers. Then it goes all heavy again and slightly less happy clappy. Again the sound is decent but hardly ground breaking.
It’s all fairly standard metal-ish music but as a listen it’s good. At random points someone screams ‘WE ARE NOT THE SAME’ and it all gets a bit scary, still though impressively they keep me listening despite the heat in this bloody room…
As a sound this song is decent enough, it has lots of interesting parts, deep vocals, anguished screams and some accomplished instrument based work, but I reckon keen followers of this genre may feel it’s all been slightly done before.
‘Nomad’ starts with the line ‘Not trying to change the world, just having a good time, must have took some bad advice to end up living this life.’
A sentiment that I imagine all teenage fans of angst and misery can relate to and it works well with the singer’s voice and the continuing theme of apparent despair is compelling if a little tolling on your ears once you add in the pounding guitars, drums etc. ‘Passing through our world unknown’ is a powerful line and takes the song on a level, certainly getting the point across well.
This is a strong song, full of passion and grit it really gets the message across.
‘This Town Will Drag You Down’ is Population Four’s big one. It’s their main hit, the one people know them by and even has its own piece of graffiti.
It’s a clever song in that in mentions ‘England’s newest city’ which is Preston their hometown. And I think virtually everyone hates where they are from unless they are from somewhere perfect like the land of the Oompa Loompa’s from Willy Wonka. So right away they have a connection. It certainly gives feelings that are familiar to me as I live in a place similar in excitement levels to an empty bag of dust. Although similar in sound and intensity to the other songs they have taken it lyrically one step above. A good effort from Pop Four.
I would suggest that if you are metal maniac this band will probably be a bit basic for you, certainly they sound good but I think what they do is not exactly groundbreaking.
Though I would say if you’re new to this level of metal or want to try it out, then certainly give them a listen. Similarly, if you think where you live is shit, give them a listen. Because they agree.