There I was, ready to move on from my melodic punk phase, 22 years old, my apathy spurred by a deluge of cringe-worthy *NOFX *plagiarists and frankly laughable ska-punk revivalists; themselves tripping off bland, second-rate wannabes looking to snatch a bite of the bandwagon bumper, as it speeds rapidly out of sight. To me, the heyday of English melodic punk had been and gone, with a mere handful of acts like *The Killerest Expression *and *Hi Tech Jet *_really _beholdant of the gusto and charisma needed to keep the UK pop-punk flame alive.
That is, until I was swiftly slapped round the face by this self-released full length from Kent’s 3dBs Down. To say this rivals our US counterparts is a huge understatement. It’s an album bursting with natural melodic punk songwriting, brimming with powerfully anthemic, riff-heavy tunes fuelled with the jittery urgency of The Dickies and enhanced by the radiant, perfectly-placed harmonies of The Wildhearts *and *Less Than Jake.
They may or may not be still at school but these songs are crafted with the proficiency of old Epitaph veterans. When they mix bouncy ska-lite bass arpeggios in ‘Magnificent Mediocre’, they do so with the seasoned elegance of The Chinkees, nudging in edgy, heavy-riffing chord schemes that pack a considerable punch.
A thoroughly enjoyable listen, ‘Bottom Of The Learning Curve’ is a shining example of good, anthemic pop-punk.
7Mat Hocking's Score