Released on August 18th of this year, the Minefield EP from Saving Sebastian is exactly what you’d expect from a pop punk album, carrying with it a sound reminiscent of Blink-182. The album contains four energetic songs that paint a picture of an energetic band from the UK with the potential to go places. Despite lacking much of a “wow” factor to separate them from the rest of the pop punk community, I couldn’t help but to headbang along to the album with all the excitement it brings. Band members Sonny Mayo (guitar/ vocals), John McDonagh (guitar), Jamie Price (bass/ vocals), and Oli Haase (drums) all bring an energy to their music that not everyone can.
An alarm clock goes off to wake me up and grab my attention to start off the first song of the EP: Hometown. Lyrically I enjoy the cynical humor of the band as they describe their desire to leave their hometown and move onto better things, despite the love and respect they have for home. Though it’s a story told before, Saving Sebastian’s take on this is entertaining and the music itself boasts of upbeat guitar rhythms and vocals that make me want to move back home simply to leave it again.
We move next into the title track of the album: Minefield. At only 2 minutes and 55 seconds long, this quick tune is the shortest track (though not far behind Hometown). I found this song to be my personal favorite on the EP, listening to it again and again. Minefield presents lyrics relatable for anyone who has ever been through a rough relationship and is a great song to jam to. The bridge at 1:42 begins to build a strong tension before being released with the hard-striking chorus and vocals of the final chorus, creating a perfect outro and transition into the next track.
If ever I experienced flashbacks of being 12 years old and listening to Blink-182 in my bedroom, it was when listening to Saving Grace, the 3rd track on Minefield. While starting off with a fun guitar intro that had my hopes high, we dive straight into a very “Blink feeling” song with generic pop punk vocals and guitar style. While still a great song to rock out to, and enjoyable in its own ways, I found myself bored with the song structure, almost exactly the same as the two previous songs. However, the… saving grace (sorry) for this song is its powerful outro featuring dual vocals in the final chorus and headbanging guitar at the end.
After checking my eyesight and double-checking that I read it right, I was able to find the name of the final track on the EP: The. While the name gives little hope for an exciting finale, vocals from Sonny in the chorus of this song and a smooth bass intro by Jamie helps differentiate it in the album and give it a nice silver medal from me. Saving Sebastian finishes off the album with the structure they’re used to, but also the same energy they are used to.
Even while lacking much of a unique aspect, Minefield by Saving Sebastian is still a jam and I would recommend that any pop punk fans give it a listen. You can even check out their video for Saving Grace on Youtube to visually see the fun and energy this band brings to the table. The EP can be found on Spotify, Amazon Music, iTunes, and Deezer, costing £4 (about $5) digital or £5 ($6 + $6 shipping) for the CD. If Saving Sebastian keeps pushing with the same intensity they brought to this album, I believe they’ll make it in the industry.