We Are The Movies were formed in 2011 in Columbus, Ohio, and are comprised of Mike O’Leary (guitar/vocals), Tim Waters (guitar/vocals), Dan McMillan (guitar), Stephen Goldstein (bass) and Bryan Overholt (drums).
The band released their first EP, ‘Ending One Moment at a Time’, back in 2013, and they haven’t stopped working since. It’s definitely paying off, though: this year they have an opening slot on the Pure Noise tour (headlined by Hit The Lights and Seaway) and they’re also playing the Road to Warped show in Alaska (with Sum 41 and Sleeping With Sirens, among others). At the moment they have just over 1,000 likes on their Facebook, and around a quarter of that on their Twitter, but by the end of the year I can guarantee that they’re going to have gained a lot more attention. Unfortunately I can’t go to either of these shows – being UK based has its downfalls! – which means I’m not going to know what We Are The Movies sound like live for quite a while, but hopefully there will be UK shows on the distant horizon.
If you’d like to listen to their first EP, it’s available as a free download on their website.
First of all I have to say that I love the artwork for ‘Get Busy Living..’. Sometimes artwork isn’t a priority for upcoming bands, but this is a beautiful piece of work and that’s always something I appreciate!
Featuring six songs, including intro track ‘Always The Rule (Never The Exception)’ which is merely a minute and a half, if you’re a fan of pop punk you’ll definitely find something that you enjoy on this EP. There’s ‘The Story So Far’, which is the fastest of the tracks and sounds rather like New Found Glory. If you like subtle Christmas songs (as in, no jingling bells or choral choruses here!) then you’ll enjoy ‘Happy EX-mas’ – it’s one of those songs that you can listen to all year round, even if it is based solidly on a holiday. Then it’s time for ‘The Best Revenge is Living Well’, which is one of the happier pop punk songs I’ve ever heard: it deals with the aftermath of a break up and rediscovering yourself, with the refrain “I’m finally happy” being remarkably optimistic.
As their opening tracks states, “I will confess that I’ve always been a bit of a cynic”, but my cynicism goes through the roof as soon as I see a song is nearly six minutes long. Nine times out of ten it just doesn’t work well, and the piece is draining in its length and repetition, so I wasn’t too enthused when I spotted the running time of ‘Temporary’ (5:53). It actually ended up being the song on the EP that impressed me the most! It’s on a different level, with a soaring guitar line that could easily be part of a movie score, and it feels epic. Whereas the rest of the songs are solidly pop punk, ‘Temporary’ transcends the label.
After ‘Temporary’ I was a little bit disappointed by ‘By A Thread’, because it was the most slowed down song for the closer. It beautifully focused the split vocal that works so well throughout the rest of the songs, but after the upbeat earlier tracks and the wonderful ‘Temporary’, its melancholy feeling means it slips under the radar a little bit.
I will admit, this EP is standard pop punk fare. If you’ve heard anything from the genre, you’ve basically heard We Are The Movies before. However, that’s a good thing in this case! All of the members are wonderfully talented, and you can tell that they’ve been in bands before – ‘Get Busy Living…’ has a polished feeling that puts them miles above the others emerging into the scene. If these guys don’t get serious recognition by the end of 2016 I’ll be very surprised, because they’re one of the most promising new bands I’ve heard in a very long time. I’m certainly going to keep an eye on them.
If you’re a fan of the aforementioned New Found Glory, love upcoming pop punk bands but wish Real Friends were a little bit happier, We Are The Movies are the perfect band for you. You can purchase ‘Get Busy Living…’ on iTunes or at their online store.