Neck Deep Release Two New Versions of Single “December”!
Welsh pop punk band Neck Deep have generously given us two new and different versions of their single “December”, and they were both released on July 18th, 2016. The first version is an acoustic tune that features Chris Carrabba, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the emo band Dashboard Confessional. The second version is a heavier track that features Mark Hoppus, the co-vocalist and bassist for the pop punk band blink-182.
The acoustic version of “December” is a sad and somber tune, but its forlorn emotion rings with authenticity. Lead vocalist Ben Barlow sings sorrowfully over two layers of acoustic guitar: chords and strums. (In fact, the production with regards to the acoustic guitar sounds fantastic.) In the chorus, Barlow’s voice picks up some momentum, and you can hear a beautiful strings arrangement play delicately in the background. These strings as well as a piano appear more prominently in the second verse, which also contains a small vocal break that really distinguishes it from the first verse. Before the bridge, the lone acoustic guitars and a subtle solo violin create a gloomy and toned-down atmosphere. Carrabba builds the momentum to the final chorus, first with softer vocals and then with his signature emotional vocal style. The track closes with Carrabba and Barlow’s gorgeous vocal harmonies with strings and piano intertwined throughout.
The heavier version of “December” embodies a more traditional pop punk sound. Barlow’s vocals pick up speed. The drums pound with power and resolve. There are also two guitars on this version of the track, and they both sound wonderfully produced. The rhythm guitar chugs away deeply in the background, and the lead guitar takes the reins most prominently in the section just before the second chorus. The bridge contains a tight and well-constructed connection between the drums and the lead guitar before Hoppus comes in with his deep and deadpan vocals. Similar to the acoustic version, the track closes with forceful harmonies between the two main vocalists, although the finish reverberates with more fortitude.
Overall, I’m majorly enthralled with both versions of “December”. I can’t even decide which one is the better one. The production sounds great on both versions, the vocals sound passionate on both versions, etc. The lyrics are the same on both versions, but that’s only a strength added to the track, because Neck Deep demonstrate that they can create two awesome tunes that use the same lyrics. The passion of this track rings with an emotional tone that doesn’t feel fake nor forced, and that’s why I like it so much.
I highly recommend that you check out the music videos for both versions of “December” on YouTube below. This track represents a win for Neck Deep and another win for pop punk as a whole.