With the Punches - Keep It Going (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

With the Punches

Keep It Going (2009)


With the Punches get an incredibly cautious nod for doing a decent take on the newfangled pop-punk/hardcore wave with their Keep It Going EP.

This band should appeal to anyone who appreciates the newer bands of this style doing straightforward versions of it: I'm thinking early Fireworks, and maybe Set Your Goals to a mild extent. There's no overwrought mosh parts, keyboards or fake angry-man shouts -- just a singer that borders on overly cutesy, a relatively fast flow, a few gang vocal parts and mindless bits of melody to keep the EP afloat.

The legit influences are apparent in the fast-moving and well-done "Corporate Ladder Match," a title like "Thrill Your Idols" (which has guitar squeals that actually aren't terribly cringeworthy) or when their singer Jesse Vadala professes in the urgent "Stick and Move" that Jersey's Best Dancers is "the soundtrack that saved [his] life." The chorus of "Burned at Both Ends" is pretty big, but a good big, promising bigger things; still, from start to finish, this song's generally the type of slightly cheesy that somehow finds the 16-year-old in you and gets it stoked.

You have to know what you're getting by this point. Keep It Going, for better or worse, certainly keeps "it" going, but thankfully in a positive direction. A little more grit and guitar tone variance and this band could totally come up with something great.

Burned at Both Ends
Stick and Move
Keep It Going