Are you an aging emo kid in recovery? Do you reminisce about the days when emotional pop rock was unadulterated by hideous caterwauling, shameless commercialism, and next-big thing claims? Does Kenny Vasoli’s voice give you a mean case of the warm fuzzies? If you’re feeling nostalgic for the earnest rock of three years ago, Overise’s debut EP A Long Story will send you back in time to a more innocent age. With catchy hooks and melodious, scream-free choruses, the disc is by no means a terrible start for this band of newbies. However, Overise strictly play by the rules of pop punk and scarcely abandon the formulas of other bands, two choices that seriously hinder their style.
Like any decent introduction to a new band, A Long Story showcases the many sounds of this Philadelphia quartet of do-it-yourself-ers. Kicking off with the catchy single “Outside,” Overise displays an enthusiastic energy and a knack for memorable melodies. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the piano-laced “Part Time Crush” sounds like a long lost Something Corporate track, subtle and satisfyingly emotive but not entirely original. Likewise, “Heaven,” an upbeat, sped up rocker, is painfully average because it contains less innovation than the disc’s best track, “Outside.” On “Heaven,” the band sounds strikingly similar to The Starting Line circa Say It Like You Mean It. On “Outside,” the band sounds like Overise. Listeners will likely prefer the latter.
With a sound that is a bit dated but wholly genuine, Overise is perfect for fans of JamisonParker and the early Drive-Thru Records roster. While A Long Story falls victim to the same heartbroken, juvenile lyricism and redundancy exhibited by some like-minded bands, it does have its share of shining moments. The disc is at its best when Overise show through rather than their influences, which can’t be said about many new bands. If the band members can work through this early identity crisis and establish their own sound, they could easily catch up to or even surpass the bands they admire. Despite an unremarkable recording debut, Overise does prove to be a band to watch.