London-based four piece Rivalries play an upbeat, accessible and easy-to-digest brand of pop-punk. Their début EP “Out Of Town And Back Again” showcases 4 short, sharp bursts of energetic & melodic punk, and their relentless sunny disposition and positive vibes fail to let up throughout the course of this record, which falls shy of the 15 minute mark. “Twelve Out Of Ten” gets things off to a punchy start, with a soaring riff that grabs hold instantly and keeps you engaged with infectious melodies.

This type of punk rock is timeless – while this has come along at a time when bands with a similar sense of boisterousness such as Great Cynics, Pacer and Gnarwolves are touring and recording, it really could have come from any era of pop-punk, and even has an air of largely forgotten Leicestershire band My Awesome Compilation about it. Though the music is all vocal harmonies (yes, there are “woah”s-aplenty) and crunching guitars, they can sometimes mask a darker lyrical undertone, such as on “The World’s A Stage”, which attacks those that falsify “punk” values and ethics – might this be in reference to a privately educated gentleman with a “Tape Deck Heart”? One wonders…

As “Built To Last” closes out proceedings on a high, you realise you’ve heard a rare commodity, not just in punk, but in music in general – that of pure, unfettered optimism. While Americans may seek to “Defend” this genre whilst whining about ex-girlfriends and how hard touring is, this quartet revel in the brighter side of life. Sure, it’s never going to win awards for depth, dimension and complexity, but for anyone having a gloomy day, Rivalries are just the band to roll back the clouds and let the sunshine in.