Artist : Zacthelocust
Title : Golden State of Mind (2021)
"Guitar hooks and big choruses, it's all here!" declares Ogmore's Zac the Locust, and you gotta hand it to them, this song is resoundingly commercial. Admittedly influenced by "bands from Green day to Metallica, Blink 182 to Rancid, Black Sabbath to The Clash, Oasis to The Offspring, and many, many more" may be taking virtuous honesty too far, though, because just as Zac turns out a polished, accomplished pop punk performance here, it is also generic to a fault. Close listening reveals a lot of songwriting nous, and playing that would feel passionate were it not so somehow distracting for its practiced moves. The problem is that, even with the best will in the world, all this has been heard before, which is both its greatest strength and weakness: the mesh of influences becomes a blur, producing an impact well-intentioned more than powerful and original. I could warm to Zac the Locust but first they need to throw away the crutches and fire up a fiercer sense of identity. Having said which, in a blind test by an American label, this could get a deal. Real.