If nothing else, there’s a lot to admire about Crossing The Limits’ candour and drive. The same can really be said about any upcoming pop-punk and pop-rock band trying to break through the impenetrable wall the genre has become, but there’s something of an amicability with this Norwich quintet, trying to bring a positive spin on the genre based on vocalist Rachael Hollands’ bouncing back from a bad breakup.
And one would be remissed to say that isn’t the case with debut EP Perseverance; it’s as light, bright and plucky as pop-rock in this vein should be, and the shadow of Against The Current that influenced its recording is noticeable almost immediately. Thankfully Crossing The Limits avoid the plasticity of that band, and thus on a track like Predictable, the organic instrumentation ultimately prevails in the vein of mid-2000s pop-punk.
As it is, there’s already a guaranteed audience for that style, but Crossing The Limits are definitely costing it in an even finer sheen. It comes across as a lot more twee and only a couple of steps away from manufactured teen-pop in all honesty, especially taking into consideration Hollands’ shriller, more piercing vocal delivery that falls somewhere in between Tonight Alice’s Jenna McDougall and Avril Lavigne. Along with lyrics on tracks like Won’t Settle and My Own Way that fall into a brattier, Donnas-esque camp of rebellion and independence that could definitely do with a couple of extra drafts to flesh out some personality, Perseverance ends up as an overly-saccharine fragment rather than the resurgence of posi-pop-punk that was so clearly the intention.
But even for a release that’s more overtly aimed at younger listeners than anyone else, this doesn’t exactly do a lot that so many others haven’t already done, and a lot better at that. The pop-rock angle is fine, but Crossing The Limits’ skill set isn’t up to scratch when it comes to surpassing the scores of acts they’ll inevitably be compared to. It all just feels a little flat and toothless, unable to really stand on its own among a sea of very clear reference points, and a good deal of work is needed to actually reach a point where it can.
For fans of: Against The Current, Avril Lavigne, The Dollyrots
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Perseverance’ by Crossing The Limits is released on 6th April.