Short Warning have been on a very interesting musical journey throughout their career. Starting off as a heavily American influenced skate-punk band, it wouldn’t be too harsh to say that while they showed promise, there wasn’t really anything about them that made them stand out from the crowd of, at the time, a sea of fantastic EpiFat-influenced UK bands. A second EP came along and showed massive improvement, but it wasn’t until the original demos of ‘Wake Up To the Fear’ and ‘Working Title’ that Short Warning stopped being pretenders and instead became contenders. And ‘Safety In Numbers’ is their reward for some hard work – it’s one of the best UK pop-punk records released in recent years and in my (biased) opinion it shoots them into second place in the UK pop-punk ranks, behind Fastlane.
Showing the Yanks they’re not the only ones who can write technical melodic punk rock, Short Warning switch from the Rufio-esque ‘You Can Say’ to the more poppy tracks in the blink of an eye. And with Carl’s vocals stronger than ever, the band are now consistently writing fantastic songs. ‘Safety In Numbers’ is actually full of them. While ‘Bite The Bullet’ starts things with a whimper rather than a bang, ‘Mr Bigshot’ really gets things kicked off. And by the time ‘Turn It Up’ comes round, SW have won the charm offensive and proved they can write an album filled with killer tunes.
Each and every song is good in its own right, but Short Warning have now mastered the ability to shift writing good songs into writing great songs. And if ‘Wake Up To The Fear’ and ‘S.I.N’ don’t get you singing along, there’s something wrong somewhere. The guitar riff and the machine-gun drumming of ‘In between the lines’ sums up this record in one word – brilliant. Go get it now.