It’s not unfair to say that 2013 debut EP Here To Stay from Speaking The King’s wasn’t exactly the most auspicious of releases.
Generic melodic hardcore by way of pop punk, it proved to be just another fairly mediocre release in an overall stale scene. Two years later and the American quartet make their return with debut full-length Carousel, and it seems that little has changed.
Opener Breathe kicks things off with a typically unremarkable mix of poppy rock and not particularly aggressive by-the-numbers breakdowns, while frontman Bobby Burap’s strained, half-screamed attempts at a hard-hitting vocal delivery fall short of any sort of punch.
And so it goes on from one pretty interchangeable track to another. Perhaps if STK can inject a spark of originality into their music in the future, they may have a shot at becoming a band worthy of some interest. As it stands, Carousel does nothing to lift the Californians above being just another band lost in the scene’s sea of mediocrity.