With Confidence waste no time with introductions, diving headfirst into the interestingly named album opener, ‘Voldemort’. Already it feels a lot like they are trying to fill quotas in terms of style and structure, as if they have compiled a pop-punk checklist and are working through it, ticking off clichés as they go. The bass-heavy second verses with quickened time signatures, the seemingly deep poetic lyrics, the growling vocals that largely resemble a lion cub trying to find its roar; they pretty much cover them all.
Despite this, With Confidence win you over with their ear for catchy choruses, as demonstrated by the album’s leading singles ‘Keeper’ and ‘We’ll Be Okay’. The latter sounds very similar to ‘Stay Awake’ by label buddies All Time Low, whom the band have unsurprisingly listed as an influence. ‘Archers’ too is example of the band at their peak, the former is one you can already see being a live fan favourite with its rallying lyrics, chant-like chorus and beat you can clap along to; it’s almost like a call to arms.
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The tone takes a turn down a tender ally with the tracks ‘Gravity’ and ‘Long Night’, which punctuate the vast periods of bubbly enthusiasm with pockets of raw emotion. The former is touchingly uplifting, with its dark distorted chorus that juxtaposes the soft, melancholic instrumentation of the verses. Though, it is with the latter that With Confidence are truly able to play Geppetto with the listener’s heartstrings. It’s a piano lead piece with emotion cracked-vocals that sing of heartbreak and longing, making your chest swell with empathy.
As the album progresses, the band gradually start sounding a lot surer of themselves. ‘Better Weather’ ends on a high note with ‘Waterfall’ whose trickly guitar-style carries the verses along like a steady flow of water before plunging you over the edge with the epic, crashing chorus.
If there was such thing as a ‘coming of age’ album, this would be it; as the tracks grow, we see the band mature and the songs gain confidence. If this is them merely finding their feet, then their future appears extremely promising.
‘Better Weather’ is out now via Hopeless Records.
This With Confidence article was written by Tyler Turner, a GIGsoup contributor