PVMNTS with merely a demo accomplished a considerable fan-base as well as a more than expected slew of critical analysis for a relatively new band.
Nothing new having a bit of hyperbolic discourse in music for sure, especially as one of the band has been ‘right successful on the telly’ in a US teen series.
But PVMNTS are a pop-punk band and it’s 2018.
A three-chord melody and an anthemic chorus is recipe de facto for pop-punk and this well has frankly become a fatigued genre. Time for a re-brand? Pretty sure pop-punk’s sub-genres have made off with any viable alternative name. So, maybe an unrestrained deluge of zesty energy, from the other side of the Atlantic, is the cure for pop punk’s lack of freshness. One thing is for sure I’ll be overusing the word pop-punk in this review.
Rebellion is a fun, friendly venue and you feel that the moment you enter. Tonight, the crowd is surprisingly diverse, as many under 18’s as there are those above. The merch tables have a steady flow of activity around them and the bands are taking photos with fans. Those that are not chatting are singing along to favoured tracks that are being played between bands.
Taking to the stage first are two bands from this island starting with Shaded. Providing some impressively well-constructed biting pop punk with a rock core, Shaded certainly, don’t hold back giving a solid and dynamic set. Shaded singer. Matt East’s, emotive occasionally bluesy vocals, along with accessible melodies and an amenable stage presence, wins the audience over quickly and people are actively participating in songs particularly those from their current EP; A Familiar Love.
London’s The Bottom Line instantaneously have Rebellion’s audience bouncing up and down, hands in the air and singing along, when they open their set with I Still Hate You. In fact, their well-constructed mix thought out set list, is perfectly pitched. Including old tracks like Record Player alongside new tracks including Insecure and Reasons.
While The Bottom Line do not entirely avoid pop-punk’s cliches, however, when they do succumb to them, they do so superbly. Performing throughout with dexterity unaccompanied by hubris and providing a set filled with humour that is not once schlocky. There is no escaping that, simply put, The Bottom Line are a class act.
Tonight is not LA based PVMNTS first time in Manchester, and there are plenty of knowing waves and hugs between the band and members of the crowd. Fittingly, they kick off with Jumping Stairsets, the audience tonight seem to desire to be perpetually off the ground.
Lyrically, PVMNTS don’t rely on uncomplicated pop-punk tropes such as lust, laughs and loathing your hometown. This trio takes on intense emotional topics, such as loss, self-doubt, depression coalesced with post-punk, poppy melodies and a truckload of vigour. See PVMNTS live and it is those latter elements that are the star of the show. Hit The Ground, Another Monday and Kicking Myself When I’m Down (to name just three) all possess deeply layered and serious lyricism yet tonight they are sung through grins as bodies vault up and down in excitement.
Vocalist Freddy Ramirez, guitarist Tyler Posey lead and drummer Nick Guzman, evidently have a close bond which aids their cohesive performance and on stage brotherly jesting. They take, with ease, unexpected stage happenings: such as Ramirez losing a shoe or Posey being thrown gifts from the audience. At times the bands sass spills into innuendo, however, it either lost in guitar feedback or flies over the heads of the kids down the front.
PVMNTS have yet to find their own musical pinnacle, I mean the band have one EP, so they are bound to develop and evolve. Certainly, seems likely that they’ll continue to deliver respectable tracks. At least, because in no small part, they appear to be creating authentically from their own experiences. Plus live they, seem to, convey their genuine selves with enjoyment and not imperceptible skill. As PVMNTS finish their set they do so leaving an audience, elated, animated and vocalising this without self-consciousness – which is always special.