Keeper’s latest single, Better Off is a cookie cluster of genres complimenting each other. The London-based songwriter finds a means of combining hyper-pop and pop punk with a huge payoff.
Taking influence from his post-hardcore routes, Keeper introduces the track with fast math-rock guitars lick over electronic hyper-pop drums and echoing production.
Even before the listener is treated to the first chorus, they are given a main course of experimentation. From vocal alterations to climbing guitars, it’s a track that could go in any direction. As soon as the chorus hits, Keeper hits vocal styles and levels similar to that of Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy).
The chorus is a huge climax and chunky guitar chords, the familiar lead guitar riff, and glittery electronics merging with the chunky drum production. Better Off takes music from two eras, the early emergence of a grittier pop punk in the early 2000s and heavy hyper-pop from the last decade.
Although the verse is a steady build-up with ringing chords and progressive drum beats, the chorus is the payoff. Keeper knows how to create a build-up to engross the listener’s attention. The second verse provides catchier beats with clapping synths and rising vocals. The overall guitar layers in the second verse are so dreamy and colourful with sugary tones.
The bridge introduces a slightly heavier side to the guitars and more ferocity behind the vocals. Emphasing points of losing control and blurring into phone-recorded stylings (found in a lot of post-hardcore – Funeral For A Friend for example) does highlight that there is a lack of control to the track.
Better Off’s layers of instrumentation pull you in with every listen as each individual piece of instrumentation is on its own journey. Concentrate on the drums or the electronics and you’re hearing an entirely different song.
The not-so-subtle merging of genres pays off and for fans who love 2000s pop punk, they will appreciate Keeper’s talent.