Neck Deep may have been around for less than a decade, but they’ve made some pretty considerable waves in the scene over the last few years.
When All Distortions are Intentional landed in our review box earlier this week, we were excited to hear the record that has been described as “an immersive experience from start to finish.” We were told that Neck Deep’s fourth album is both a conceptual journey and straight-ahead banger, track after track. It’s “polished yet raw, layered but catchy as hell,” and we were not disappointed.
The record opens with ‘Sonderland’ which is an excellent look into the world that Neck Deep has created. The vocals are outstanding, not that the drums and guitars are not, in fact, they are equally amazing. This particular song has a catchy ass hook and chorus that taps into their pop influences. This record takes you on a journey through the conceptualized world and out the other side following the Lowlife as they try to navigate life. As the album develops, it seems to get poppier along the way, but it is truly a unique creative work that can not easily be pushed into any one genre.
The second track, ‘Lowlife’ is one you can imagine yourself moshing to at the gigs that feel like they may never happen again. We may have been a long time without live music, but it is not too hard to imagine what some of these songs would be like live. This one especially gives great vibes that make you think it will be perfect at the show or on the radio. Fans of Neck Deep will not be surprised at the direction they have taken with All Distortions Are Intentional as we have had some sneak peeks into the world for a while now.
The band wanted us to know that All Distortions Are Intentional is conceptually rich, with themes of disconnection, existential confusion, and the search for meaning. The album tells the story of loner Jett, who lives in a place dubbed Sonderland, a combination of “Wonderland” and the somewhat obscure word “sonder”: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, with their own ambitions and worries. “It’s that strange existential realization that you are not the entire world,” explains singer Ben Barlow. “Everyone around you feels and lives the same way that you do. You’re just an extra in their story.”
Songs follow Jett and the love of his life Alice and step away from the modern concept of music as separate singles. This format makes each song a gem in itself, and the album is best listened to from start to finish, though it is not hard to pick out some stand out songs like ‘What Took You So Long?’ and ‘I Revolve (Around You)’. All DIstortions are Intentional is out on Hopeless Records on July 24, and all in all, this is an excellent album that we strongly suggest you buy, stream and play the hell out of, as each song grows on you more and more with each spin of the album.