'Houston, We Have A Pop Song'(Smalltown Records) - Single Review - May 2006
Image: © 2006 One Life Left
by Armchair Anarchist

I guess one more sub-sub-genre won’t hurt. Enter emo-thrashpop! The single’s title sums up the style, a knowingly ironic pop sensibility. But the music itself is too heavy for daytime radio and that is its most redeeming feature. First track ‘Houston...’ sets the standard with big bright metallic riffs married to a soaring epic vocal style. Current clichés are balanced by quirky tricks – a pseudo-techno breakdown adds a bit of variety. Second track ‘Astasis’ starts well in the same vein but never seems to take off in the way it promises to, despite some interesting recording techniques. Based on the workaday quiet-loud-quiet dynamic structure, it has B-side written all over it; competent, but not inspired. Final track ‘You Know I Don’t Dance’ is a better effort. Driven by frantic snares and cowbell underneath chugging chords, there is the sense that the kitchen sink wouldn’t quite fit into this one. But the chorus is a sing-along gem, and the cheeky key-change before the outro can’t fail to raise a smile. This well-produced single lets the songs do the talking. Fivemiledrive are saying, “come on, cheer up, stop taking it so seriously” - a refreshing change from a million identikit myspace mopers.