On January 20th 2017, the Virginia-born pop-punk band Kept At Bay played its final show at The Canal Club in their hometown of Richmond. In the year prior during my days with my former band, The Static Drive, we had the pleasure to play a show with these guys alongside another Virginia band, Drop The Girl. It was a fun show with loud and rebellious pop punk and the atmosphere was nothing but positive energy and good vibes. When I had heard a few months later that they were breaking up, I was definitely bummed out. But little did I know that a phoenix was rising from the ashes of what remained of that incredible punk band: that phoenix is called Telltale.
Telltale is a punk group that consists of members from other bands in the Virginia scene. Travis Slack (drums) and Bryce Marshall (guitar) formerly from Kept At Bay, Cole Bennett (bass) formerly from Drop The Girl, and John Carteret (vocals) of Until The Wind Shifts. I knew right away this was a band ready to take on the world. Their debut single, “Atlas”, released in March of 2017 causing a wave of support from the punk scene. It was pure punk. The intro was heavy and the verses were fast enough that they reminded me of the old hardcore bands. In no time at all, did Telltale’s fan base grow and they dove right into the scene playing shows like it was nothing. Two months later in May, they finished recording their EP in New Jersey with Pete Zengerle, which would later be announced as “Good Intentions” dropped on September 22nd, 2017.
Without a doubt is “Good Intentions” nothing short of the heavy chords, melodic vocals, and powerful drums as I expected after I heard their singles “Floodwall” and “Atlas”. Telltale brings their own sound into the pop-punk scene with this EP. As I listen to these songs, I hear influences from bands such as The Story So Far and Four Year Strong among many other bands in the pop punk and post-hardcore sub-genres. “Floodwall”, being the single, is already a hit and probably the most memorable song in the EP. “451” is a vocally melodic song that really showcases John’s singing while “Empty Promises” gives us a somewhat dark and heavy turn towards the second half of the song. Travis Slack’s drumming in “Bayview” during the verses bring a nostalgic feeling of old hardcore punk and the song altogether fades out perfectly ending a fantastic EP. Their music video for “Floodwall” shows the band reminiscing over old photos in an almost completely empty house with the only piece of furniture being the very same couch from their EP cover. That very same song is featured on the 91-track album called “Good Vibes Only Vol. 2” put together by Common Grounds Records as a charity compilation benefitting the Keep A Breast Foundation.
You can catch Telltale’s next show at The Canal Club in Richmond, VA with Hold Close, Neverkept and more on October 27th, 2017. Make sure you pick up the new album directly from the guys while they are on tour or pick it up on Google Play, iTunes or Amazon.