Punk legends such as Rise Against or The Offspring can’t be all wrong: Templeton Pek are among the most exciting political melodic hardcore bands of our time. Following countless world tours as support act playing in front of tens of thousands of music fans, the trio are set to release their latest album “Watching The World Come Undone” in February 2018.
Founded in Birmingham in 2005, Neal Mitchell (vocals, bass), Kev Green (guitar, vocals) and Simon Barford (drums) have always felt a healthy portion of rage smouldering in their guts. In line with classic punk traditions, they decided to channel their discontent over social grievances into their music to address the growing injustice in the world – racism, sexism and xenophobia have been and continue to be omnipresent. In addition, their music reflects a deep and merciless manifestation of personal demons. Following incessant touring, starting with small punk clubs and going on to play increasingly big venues, they brought out their debut album “No Association” in 2009, establishing their haunting sound, which brings to mind hardcore luminaries like Ignite and Rise Against, always featuring a political note. In the subsequent years, the venues got bigger and Templeton Pek unleashed the EP “Slow Down For Nothing” (2012) and their albums “Scratches And Scars” (2011), “Signs” (2013) and “New Horizons” (2015), all living up to the musicians’ consistently demanding standards, always with the finger on the pulse and committed to their initial DIY concept. Hundreds of shows followed and worldwide support tours with international icons such as Bad Religion, Sum 41 and Zebrahead speak for themselves.
Today the political climate is more complicated than ever. Nationalism and backward-looking, far-right ideas have once more become acceptable, and a whole nation is intentionally leaving the international community, in other words has chosen Brexit. Templeton Pek’s reaction is an intense analysis of mankind’s penchant for self-destruction: “Watching The World Come Undone”. “Brexit was permanently on our minds when we were writing this album,” vocalist and guitarist Neal Mitchell comments. “From the perspective of a touring musician it’s difficult enough as it is just to exist. The potential financial and logistical restrictions that we are about to face are worrying, never mind the other consequences for the whole country.” Their resignation and anger about this imminent situation are reflected on their single “The Awakening”, among others, and in its chorus: “Don’t let me down now/Their reigning over you/Cut through the sound/Disconnecting you”. On that note, Templeton Pek, despite everything else, call for protest and a contribution by every one of us: “What we mean is that you have to fight your way through all that noise that you get to hear, make your own decisions and not be disheartened if decisions are taken above your head,” Neal explains.
The band from Britain is pondering the question why we as human beings sabotage our political climate, our environment and ourselves. After a historically unique seventy-year period of peace in Europe, the band’s home country is isolating itself, submitting millions of people to a hopeless situation. Musically and lyrically, “Watching The World Come Undone” is the strongest record of the band’s career to date and deals, along with the political component, with existential questions, presenting a previously unknown diversity. Vocalist Neal remarks: “It’s as close to a concept album as we could get. From day one of writing the album, we had a clear idea of its vibe and general feel.” The result is a recording, which mercilessly deplores almost dystopian conditions and deals with questions such as: Why is isolation more important than cooperation? Why do we destroy the world that we live in? Why do we sabotage human relations and ourselves? On the other hand the trio is still positive about the future – keeping their eyes firmly on the last glimmer of hope. And so for every one of us, “Watching The World Come Undone” is a very personal analysis of an increasingly complex and confusing world. The fictitious city on the artwork emphasises the band’s fixation with the self-destruction of mankind and is, according to Neal Mitchell, part of the total work of art that is “Watching The World Come Undone”: “Like earth itself we start off with abundant green landscapes, like the innocence of our youth. We then gradually go on to obstruct, develop and pollute it beyond recognition, the colours oppose each other and are radically different, the orange cutting crudely and uncomfortably through the calm green.”
After ten active years in music, the band has earned itself the status of veterans of the melodic hardcore scene and has correspondingly high expectations of its latest release: “From the beginning we wanted this to be one of the albums that contain one great song after the other,” says Neal. Every one of the ten tracks had to have single potential. In short: They wanted album number five to be a testament to their current creative power. To this end, the trio teamed up with fellow Brummie Davey Warsop (Badcop Badcop, Vanishing Line). The result is an album that asks the right questions at the right time, that tackles the important problems of the world and that for Templeton Pek themselves is their most mature and considered offering to date: “Watching The World Come Undone”.
01 Nowhere To Hide
03 The Awakening
05 The Aftermath
07 Collision Course
08 Black Hearts
09 City Of Fire
10 On Our Own
– Neal Mitchell (vocals, bass)
– Kev Green (guitar, vocals)
– Jon Keen (drums)