The Symbolism in Life’s Not Out To Get You


Album Cover

Evan Schmidt

Album Cover

With most pop punk and punk rock songs, there are four main themes that recur throughout songs by bands and songs that are in albums. Most pop punk songs are about using drugs, going out and get dumped by a girl, leaving this town and running away and “my parents don’t get me”. But Neck Deep’s album “Life’s not out to get you” is different than most pop punk albums. These songs have new themes. There are some of the same themes, but this album is an important stepping stone to the future of pop punk and that pop punk is changing.

The album starts off with a two minute epic “Citizens of Earth”. This song is a more of a “Stick is to the Man” type of song. Bands like Sum 41 and Green Day have done songs like these, but this song sound out of of place than with the other songs. This is more intense than the rest of the songs on the album. It has heavy metal undertones and riffs that are used to really show the passion and intensity that Ben Barlow used to show that this song is about

This modern generation is messed up because of our parents but it’s time to wake up and choose to make something better and rebel against authority.

“And the 8 Ball said ‘Things don’t look great’

You know we can’t break loose if we stay in place

Every Earthquake starts with a little shake

And then we’ll see who is standing in the wasteland”

When I listened to this album for the first time, I noticed that all these songs are bangers rather than slow rock songs. There is only one slow rock song (December) compared to each other song being fast but talk about serious and sadder stuff. “Threat Level Midnight” is a really good example of this.

Threat Level Midnight is a song that is about feeling trapped and lonely in the first verse and chorus but the theme changes in the second verse. It transition from a classic pop punk breakup song to: After I move on, I hope I can still who I was like before this breakup. What is most important about this song is the upbeat sound to it. It creates this contrast between the first verse and second verse and builds up to the second verse very well. The song is meant to really to make someone who is in a similar situation smile because they know they are going through the same thing but they are going to be happy.

“Of all the things I hope to keep is a childish sense of opportunity”

“Can’t Kick Up the Roots” is one of most popular songs on the album. Unlike most pop punk songs this song sings about loving the place where he grew up, that he just learned to love it. Whereas other bands talk about running away from home, this is a different spin on pop punk music.

“This place is just a shipwreck but this shipwreck, it is mine”

A winter album is an album written during the winter and it has this symbolic meaning of sadness and coldness. The first line of this song shows this was written during the winter, and winter songs have this specific feeling to it. When you listen to this song you wouldn’t even know this because its fast and upbeat. The message behind the song is like pop punk songs, it’s about a girl breaking up with him but this girl is like the goddess, but this girl is destroying him.

The Next song is “Gold Steps” which is one of the most important songs on the album. The first verse talks about how he’s in a bad place, where things aren’t going right but at the end he says “You might be down and out but you’re still breathing” and the chorus afterwards goes on to say “Life’s not out to get you despite the things you’ve been through because what you give is what you get” The entire album is centered around this song and has this theme that everything sucks but you can still be happy. The song changes from the use of I and Me to You. These this could be a conversation between two people and this is shown in the second verse when the singer switches between a higher tone and a lower tone.

Lime St. starts out with a riff that sounds really similar to “I miss you” By blink-182 which sets up for the first verse perfectly. This song is also about a girl but it’s not like Threat Level Midnight, it puts it’s own twist onto it. This song isn’t about moving on from a girl, or you made the wrong choice girl who dumped me. This is more You know you’ve wanted her for so long and he wants to fight for her but he isn’t sure how he is suppose to that because of the mistakes he already made. When he does try to fight for her he can’t seem to make it work “I haven’t seen you smile this whole time it bums me out and makes me wonder why I can’t do right and I’m trying my best I Promise” One more important thing to notice about this song is it’s upbeat and fast tone.

After Lime St. It changes to Serpents, which has a similar sound to Citizens of Earth. This is more darker and intense with metal undertones. This song’s theme is similar to Kali Ma’s theme where there is this girl who is destroying this man’s life and he’s trapped by her. This girl is like a serpent.

“Don’t get to close that place is haunted

Fear not the ghost cause she sent them running”

The Beach is for Lovers, (Not Lonely Losers) is like Lime St. It’s the sequel to Lime St. that Hey I know I should move on, and I’ll figure it out after I stop fighting for her. It’s the second slowest song in the entire album but its still fast.

December is the slowest song on the album. You wouldn’t know that this song is a winter album because it came out during spring but the songs were written in the winter. This is the most classic pop punk song on the album. One of the most important songs on the album too. It’s a break up song that uses December and winter to show the loneliness and coldness that he’s going through. This song is slow, it’s the only slow song on the album. Neck Deep actually made another version of this song that was more faster and upbeat but this albums version was slow. The fact that it is slow just makes the entire meaning of the song so much meaningful. At the end of the song he starts to louder than he was at all during the song and the meaning of “I miss your face You’re in my head There are so many things that I should’ve said a year of suffering a lesson learned” is just exemplified when he screams.

The Sequel to December is Smooth Seas Don’t make good sailors. It’s the sequel to all the songs. This songs theme is that your past experiences shape you into the person you are now which is a completely unusual theme for pop punk songs but this is important. This song represents pop punk can be more than about four things. This is an uplifting song unlike anything done before. “I’ll be alright your bark was worse than your bite left a scar that faded with time” Everything bad that happened went into writing this song.

This is also shown in I hope this comes back to haunt you, The theme starts off with I’ll show you that you made the wrong choice but then changes to you made this suck for me. “Told myself that this would be the last time you kept me awake” This song starts off slow but changes into a fast and upbeat song. It switches between those two themes before it finally goes into the purpose of the song.

“Wake up the world seems bright out today

life goes on and things they change

Hands up if you’ve been left bruised and broke

say I’ll be okay, I’ll be okay”

The album ends with Rock Bottom. It’s a weird song to end on since the entire album is to make the point that life may suck but we’ll get through it. This song is the prequel to every other song that this is post breakup and his reflection on the breakup. It ends on this because the entire album before talks about post breakup. But this is immediately after the break up.

The entire album is the future of pop punk. This will be a classic in 20 years. This album is symbolic that pop punk can be good. There has been a lot of people who said that pop punk is just repetitive songs about the four things I have mentioned before but this album says it’s not. It’s rooted from bands like blink-182 and sum 41 but it’s their own album.