“Lipona is a skate punk quartet who specialise in a fast tempo blend of melodic hardcore, ambient, and post-hardcore music”.

Recently signed to Disconnect Disconnect Records, the latest offering ‘Networks’ from this  Florida four piece is a great release. It is full of fast licks, sing-along choruses and packed to the rafters with insanely fast drumming and blistering guitar parts.

Networks’ is the follow-up to Lipona’s critically acclaimed 2009 EP, ‘Pigeonholed’ and the bands debut record,  ‘Atlas’. While previous releases have been outward looking and pseudo-philosophical, ‘Networks’ finds the four piece treading more personal waters, such as coping with loss and the delicate balance of musical ambition with the transition into adulthood.

The opener  ‘Followers’ is a lense into the bands viewpoint on global politics and highlights the growing feeling of social discontent. “The longer you live, the more you look around, and the more you realise something is fucked up. Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption. Something is definitely wrong. This is not the way it works”.

Within the first 60 seconds of ‘Rights of Passage’, you are introduced to how ridiculously good drummer Roy Morlock is. His ability to create incredibly infectious and complex drum sequences is off the hook. This, blended with song writing that builds every song to a fantastic explosion of searing riffage, gut-wrenching sing-along choruses and blow your head off pop-punk gives you just a few reasons why there is genuine excitement around this band.

There is nothing new in this release. It has, in fairness, all been done before, but it is breathing renewed life into the scene.  It is a myriad of genres; it is a comfortable, yet brilliant blend of all things good in the scene, and deserves the accolades it has been receiving, from the UK and across the pond.

Frontman Yamil Valez has many layers to his vocal range, which is often missing within this genre and coupled with the shredding guitar parts and blistering drums, this album is one to give some time too.

The guitar parts in ‘Comfort are shoved through an effects pedal that gives the effect of water droplets bouncing off the inside of your head. It adds to the depth of sound that Lipona can deliver, and the slower, more melodic vocals of Valez are taken into large vocal parts and the return of the punky edge the rest of the album throughout. In fact, if there was any negative to this release, it is the similar tempo used throughout most of the upbeat parts, but this is what the genre is renowned for, and it isn’t fair to say that Lipona haven’t experimented with new ideas with ‘Networks.

Anyone into melodic hardcore, skate punk, emo or pop punk should give these guys a chance; you’ll probably enjoy it.

DAVE BULL