We’ve got bit of new punk-rock gold for you today, in the form of London-based ‘shwifty’ pop-punk trio No Insight.
The self-confessed ‘sad boys writing sad emo / pop-punk songs’ Gian ‘Kid’ Carlo (guitar and vocals), Joe ‘Grumps’ Papworth (bass and vocals) and Rich Alexander (drums and vocals) all started playing in bands at a young age, growing up on pop-punk giants like Blink-182 and Green Day. They formed No Insight last summer, with Gian and Rich drafting in Joe having previously played in bands together for around five years.
The band just released their second EP Tears, Beers and Let Downs, which they tell us encapsulates their varying sounds. Gian told us: “We are super proud of this EP. I think it is a lot more cohesive than Chasing Memories (debut EP), we took longer to work on the songs and I think having time to gig with them also really helped them develop to where they are at now.
“It’s kind of funny because a majority on the songs are written about the events of a time period spanning about a month, so if you listen closely you can hear there’s kind of a narrative journey that goes throughout the EP. Sound-wise, I think it shows the extremes of our sound, ranging from the more upbeat, Blink-inspired pop punk to the heavier side. It’s really representative our bands sound.”
It’s this diversity that makes the trio’s sound particularly appealing. As Gian describes: “Because collectively we have a lot of influences, each song varies. Some people say we have a more old school pop punk sound, but there are definitely songs that are more punk than pop. We want to explore all types of pop punk and punk rock sounds, and I think having three songwriters in the band helps keep us evolving and experimenting.”
This much certainly comes across in Tears, Beers and Let Downs. It kicks off at breakneck speed in opening track Collateral Damage which, after a brief spoken intro, flies into a 52-second punk romp of rapid drums, fast-paced vocals and punky chords.
Next up, Cheap Wine For Sad Guys is straight out the classic Blink-182 pop-punk blueprint, with engaging lyrics delivered in fun, approachable style. It kicks off with a fun hit of punky chords that flow into a fast-paced opening verse. The picture is painted with the great opening vocals “I’m gonna go home, Drink some cheap wine, Write some songs, Make believe that everything is alright, I wish I was with my friends, I’m here alone again.” A fun guitar riff plays over the top of that along with driving drums to create a punky sound that you can’t help but enjoy.
That’s followed by Critical, which opens up with heavier chunky guitar chords, which drop down into a verse that gradually builds, then drops out bar vocals and clean guitars in a bridge into a singalong chorus. The pace then suddenly picks up as the song launches into life with more intense vocals and punky chords in the second verse, including a shout of “Oh won’t you please just tell me the truth.” There’s a big pause mid-way through, then vocals come in alongside a lone bassline, followed by a second vocal line before launching into a big hit of guitar chords and ending on a big punky verse and chorus.
Lights starts out with light looping guitar riff, soon joined by drums and bass before diving into a big punk-out with high-pitched guitar over cries of “woh-oh.” The first verse builds gradually, with chunky bass and then jumps into a chorus that repeats the pre-verse punk-out with vocals over the top. It’s raw and fast-paced, and generally really fun pop-punk, with the repeated “woh-oh” vocals really adding some atmosphere to the track.
The EP rounds out with You’re My Francesca, which opens up with a few loops of acoustic guitar chords and clean vocals, which are soon joined by drums and a floating guitar lick. Towards the second repeat, the drums intensify and then drop into a building phase of ascending guitars followed by a funky, effect-ridden guitar solo that leads into repeated shouts of “I’m sorry that I’m such a fucking let-down,” which typifies the general lyrical theme of No Insight.
This is a great little EP filled with fun punky riffs and raw, emotional vocals which, if you’re having a bad day, could either push you over the edge or be just the tonic of angst that you need to cheer you up. Personally, I really enjoy the emotive, easily relatable vocals and the crossover between pure pop-punk and heavier, punkier elements.
As for what inspires their music, it’s all – as you can probably tell – very personal stuff, as Gian explains: “I guess some of our songs are written about specific moments in our lives that we need closure from and some are more loosely based on situations we might have all experienced. I guess that’s another factor that keeps things different. We have songs such as Cheap Wine For Sad Guys that is about drinking alone when you feel down, and then songs like Chasing Memories, which is about breaking away from a place that’s holding you back. The stuff that comes straight from real life is the easiest to write because it feels the most genuine.”
It’s been a busy year for the trio. On top of the new EP they’ve also toured around the UK twice, have already started writing and demoing for their next release and hope to start planning tours for next summer.
So, as Gian says, get out there and support them and new bands in general. In his words: “Just a huge thank you to anyone who has checked us out or came to one of our shows over summer. Supporting live music is super important, and we are so grateful to have awesome friends and family that support us. Also a massive thank you to all the bands we played with over summer, it really was an incredible experience on both tours! If you haven’t already yet, check out Tears, Beers and Let Downs. Stay Shwifty ✌🏻”