Settle Your Scores – Better Luck Tomorrow (SharpTone Records)

It’s probably just as well that I’m reviewing the second album from Settle Your Scores on such a lovely sunny day. Music like this goes hand in hand with sunshine as far as I’m concerned and had this come out a month ago, I’d be reaching for the nearest Integrity record and cursing the hell out of this. I jest of course, as the Ohio boys have put together a solid record which will lighten even the blackest of souls.

Treading the fine line that exists between pop punk and hardcore, opening track On The Count Of Three is a prime example of their collective influences, veering between double bass infused metal-core complete with roaring vocals and New Found Glory pop leanings, a strange pairing that works surprisingly well. The excellent Stuck In The Suburbs reminds me of early Avenged Sevenfold and is surely a future live favourite. Classic hardcore is explored as Rise Fall sets off at a blistering pace, before breaking down into a wonderful mosh inducing riff. This is the kind of track that AFI used to do so well. If you get to see the band this summer then, just a heads up, On/Off is the song to hold your partner to and have one of those “moments” with. Emotion and power in equal measure. In contrast Your Teeth Vs The Pavement is the one you smash them back into the mosh pit for.

Whatever sort of day you’re having Settle Your Scores have a song to fit that mood. Youthful exuberance meets teen angst with a healthy dose of that all important PMA, which lets be honest, in 2018, the world could do with in abundance. Owning this album is absolutely essential and making Settle Your Scores your new favourite band this summer, might just see you through another year... Chris Andrews

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