Alive Again/The Press and the President – “Roadtrips and Campfires” (Split EP)


coverWhat we have here is a split EP by two bands called Alive again and The Press and the President. I had never heard of these bands before, so I decided to look things up. Alive Again seems to be a Pop Punk band that is based in Nunspeet, The Netherlands. The Press and the President is a band that consists of only 3 members that have dubbed themselves as “Electro Poppunk”. I used to listen to a lot of Pop Punk back when I was 14 so this is genre is kind of nostalgic to me, but I decided to keep open mind. Here we go:

The first track called “Adventures” is performed by Alive Again starts with an upbeat sound that’s most familiar within Pop-punk. The intro begins with high guitar leads and energetic vocals. The singer’s voice is solid, and is also able to hit a few high notes. When singers hit high notes, I always have this fear that their voice will turn out to be very whiny. But that is definitely is not the case with this band. The bass also has a rightful place during the verse, where it carries us through the song together with the vocals. The back-up vocals during the chorus are also a nice touch.

“Semester” by Alive Again begins with upbeat guitars as well, that really define the sound of this band. It shows that this band knows how to write good songs within their genre. The vocals are once again spot on, and the guitars are excellently performed. The drums also seem to stand out more compared to the previous song. The lyrics in the song deal with the struggles of lost friends and the memories that we keep within our hearts.

At first when I heard “The Cell” that’s performed by The Press and the President, I thought that the song had no guitars in it. Later I realized that I did hear guitars, but that they were heavily modified with electronic sounds. (Hence their genre Electro Pop-Punk.) Even though it’s not really my taste, I find myself actually quite enjoying it. It’s a nice touch of creativity and also offers a fresh bit of variety. What I love most are the catchy melodies of the synths that will get stuck in your head after you’ve listened to the songs. The lyrics deal with a person’s perception of the world and loneliness. That it can sometimes feel like we’re alone when we look at today’s society.

The song “Broken Glass” by The Press and the President blasts off with happy, upbeat electronic sounds. If I had never heard of this band, I never would have thought that techno and pop punk could actually fit in together. But this band definitely makes it work. The vocals don’t seem out of place, and even though everything is electronic, you can also easily hear that they resemble guitars. The drums are also electronic, but the whole sounds as a solid piece of music.

The final track on this EP is a split song that is performed by both of the bands. Even though I’ve heard of bands performing a song with one member of another band, I’ve rarely heard a song where 2 whole bands perform a song together. The song is played on the acoustic guitar with a typical, catchy pop-punk chord progression. The lyrics deal with the hard parts of growing up. Longing back to certain memories and places, but also leaving certain people behind.

Overall: Both bands seem to have a lot of skill in writing Pop Punk songs. The songs are well written, and the execution is good as well. Is this EP very original? Well, if I may be honest: there isn’t much room left for originality and experimentation within Pop Punk. Otherwise it wouldn’t really fit within that genre anymore. I think that both bands have invested most of their energy into perfecting their sound, rather than pursuing originality, and I believe it has paid off.

Rating: 8/10

Written by Geert Prins

01 AA – Adventures
02 AA – Semester
03 TPATP – The Call
04 TPATP – Broken Glass
05 AA&TPATP- Roadtrips and Campfires

Alive Again is:
Marijn te Flierhaar Vocals
Rik van der Meulen Guitars
Jeroen Dammers Guitars
Stefan van de Gronden Bass
Job Zijlstra Drums

The Press and the President is:
Alwin van der Knijff Guitars, Synths, Back-up Vocals
Stefan Bonestroo Vocals, Synths
Nathan Reinds Drums

Record Label: Independent, July 2014


Alive Again:
“Four Words” (2014)
“Roadtrips and Campfires” (2014)
“Acoustic Songs” (2015)

The Press and the President:
“Stay out of the Papers” (2013)
“Roadtrips and Campfires” (2014)

Weblinks: Alive Again / The Press and the President / Bandcamp

Video below: Alive Again‘Semester’

Video below: Alive Again & The Press and the President – Roadtrips and Campfires


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