On first listen, it is seems very easy to draw comparisons between Over and the American group Paramore, if only for their utilisation of a female vocalist. While this is merely a superficial link, it soon becomes apparent from listening to the Italian’s punk-rockers debut album that the similarities are more than skin deep. Singer Linda Battilani’s vocals are reminiscent of Hayley Williams’, however credit is due as her singing does not lapse by falling into the excessively “in your face” punk style of vocals that is popular in the genre.
If Paramore are anything to go by, Over are a band that definitely appeal to certain demographics. To try to pinpoint this demographic, it is perhaps necessary to look at the fact their American counterparts served as the band to perform a centre-piece track for the first Twilight movie. This suggests that Over’s fan base may be in their teens, looking to move onto a musical sound less polished than pop music and someone that they can relate to more than a mainstream artist. The album title also suggests that it is one that may appeal to those in the coming-of-age years of their adolescence.
While they may be a band whose style had it’s heyday several years ago (see Paramore’s change in direction since their Twilight track), there are definitely songs on “Is This Growing Up?” that boast catchy choruses that can hold the listeners attention. “The Promise” is the first single release from the album and while one can see this being a favourite on the album for many, it is hard not to perceive the style and persona as slightly dated for today’s youth.
This means that Over have to rely less on their image to forge a reputation. There are songs that hold potential like “Brand New Day” and “The Last Time”, that nicely incorporates gentler vocals, but one can often feel that the vocal talents of Battilani are slightly overpowered by the overdriven guitar that is used excessively in the punk-rock genre. The album begins and ends with instrumental tracks, “Growing Up” and “Survivor” which add another dimension and nicely convey the message of the album. “Growing Up” uses edgy violin notes and rumbling drums to create a tone of angst that fits well into the idea of growing up while “Survivor” is a more serene track, utilising triumphant electronic tones to convey the light at the end of a difficult adolescent life.
There are certainly moments of character to be found in Over’s debut album, usually when the vocals are given centre-stage, but it seems apparent that the Italian punk rocker’s will still need to up the ante somewhat to keep up the pace with today’s punk-rock bands.