Over The Top
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Over The Top

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"Over The Top - Community EP (Review)"

Over The Top are a group of eastern Canadian up-and-comers in the pop-punk scene. They recently rolled out their Community EP, which you can name your own price for on their bandcamp, here!

On to the music: OTT’s brand of pop-punk is more abrasive than your run-of-the-mill outfit and it is a welcome change. Many hardcore punk hipsters have trouble getting behind pop-punk, wary of compromising their hipster cred, but with Community, their distinctly pop-punk guitars and heavier, more grungy vocals go hand in hand, giving one the best of both worlds. The lyrics throughout the EP are done in textbook pop-punk fashion, again sung with a harshness that adds a certain foot-stomping element to every song. You don’t hear these guys pushing their political agenda on you, but it sounds as if they could. I, for one, am glad they don’t.

The songs on the EP are short and sweet, very fast paced; only one song breaks the three-minute mark. You have your textbook chants, giving songs an anthem-like feel and they will prove for an interactive live show. One of the best qualities of the EP is that the music sounds, even feels organic, in that it isn’t doctored heavily in a studio somewhere. Pop-punk is finally getting back to its roots, forsaking the whiny teen heartthrob dynamic and OTT is a great example of this. These guys are really reminiscent of 90s punk, the stuff we were all raised on and love.

Nothing is more pleasing than to hear a band like this. They don’t make the most complex, even the most sonically pleasing music that you could dig up in this information age, but just by listening you can feel that it is genuine. Not to mention, you can also tell that these songs will make for a gnarly live show- nothing is better than a band that can translate as well, if not better live. The future of pop-punk is looking brighter as the days go on; these guys are going to continue to play a hand in that. - Mind Equals Blown


"Over The Top - Community EP (Review)"


A big sound with plenty of chunky melodic hardcore, that’s what East Canada’s Over The Top deliver on this five track EP. I’m getting a sort of Strike Anywhere/Movielife vibe here but it also had me reaching for my Heckle albums too. It’s well-produced and full of energy, featuring strong vocals and guitars that provide a punchy, driven quality throughout.

There are some decent group style vocals that fit in nicely and the pace of the tracks is varied enough to keep the momentum up. Saying that, the five songs do have a slight tendency to run into each other a bit too easily for my liking (I appreciate that with the opening two, “The Search for Lauren Kelly” and “11 Wexford,” this is a deliberate choice). It does take repeated listens to be able to discern the individual tracks as opposed to them blending together as happened on the first half dozen plays. However, that is a minor criticism and musically, the overall package here is one of consistency.

With guitars and vocals to the fore, it is easy to ignore the rhythm section, but both drums and bass provide a modest structure for the more obvious elements of the band to shine.

Again, it is noticeable that in these days of advanced technology it is not difficult to get a sound that is clean and crisp. Often that leaves a record coming across as too sterile and also a bit sedentary, but here Over The Top has avoided such a pitfall. Although well-produced, Community is clearly not overly done. The end result is a decent EP, featuring a band with bags of enthusiasm and some equally upbeat songs, the pick of which being “Summer Ahn!” and “Monument.”

Whilst not being the greatest thing I’ve heard this year it’s certainly one that will stay on my mp3 player rather than be part of the irregular cull of review material that takes place. I’d certainly be interested to hear more from this band to see how they progress. - Punknews.org


"Newfoundland Rocks"

Over The Top: Fun, loud pop punk that makes Blink-182 look tame by comparison. - The Globe And Mail


"Over The Top - Friendly Pop Punk"

The smell was greasy but the enthusiasm in the air was equally unmistakable. It was inside a certain downtown chip wagon that I spoke with the newly hatched pop punk band built on friendship and fun.

"Every generation has a different form of pop punk and some people might not like it but I guess this is the new, modern pop punk," says guitarist Jason Mooney, huddled in the crowded chip wagon with his bandmates. "We might not sound like the pop punk bands we first listened to, but that's definitely the inspiration."

Over The Top's take on pop punk is tight, technical, and more aggressive than the early 2000s bands that spurred the regrettable wearing of neckties and black nail-polish in high schools everywhere.

"We always bring different styles into it," adds bassist and on-duty fry cook Chris van Ouwerkerk (AKA Vano). "So I guess that's what really..."

He trails off and all heads turn to the truck's side window. A customer has come in pursuit of some hot, golden fries, and the band starts giggling as drummer Paul Bradley, who also works there but is off at the moment, tries to serve him with a straight face.

The band, like its members, is not all grown up, but they wear it well. These musicians know how to play their instruments and they're far more industrious than your average fun-loving, fresh-faced pop punk five-piece.

Over The Top, which also features Tim Reynolds on vocals and Adam O'Brien on guitar, has only been around since February.

But they've already released a downloadable EP, and they're about to embark on their second tour as well as release a music video directed by Justin Oakey. The video is set at a rowdy house party.

They say it's their friendship that has made them so productive, and that they see each other more often without their instruments that with.

"That's what really made it, was that we were friends first," says Vano. "Jason and I hung out every weekend getting hammered at the Breezeway before we ever even started playing music together."

"For hte most part I think we've all been a part of bands where you might start out as buds or whatever but it becomes almost like a business venture where you're just co-workers and we want to make sure that this is going to be fun and that we're friends before anything else," Mooney adds.

Their upcoming tour, running from Aug 2-13 includes dates in the Maritimes as well as Ontario and Quebec.

They're excited to stretch their wings as far as Toronto, but - wholly consistent with the philosophy of the band - they also needed an excuse to be in town for the Blink 182 show. - The Scope/July 30 2009.


"Live 'N Loud Meets Over The Top"

In the dimly lit purple women’s washroom of Junctions bar at one thirty in the afternoon, I met with Over the Top – a pop punk band based in St. John’s, NL. Recently receiving national exposure in an article in the Globe and Mail, and an article in the local paper The Scope, Over the Top have come leaps and bounds since first forming in February 2009. Adrenaline was high, nervousness hung in the air a little – the guys were about to open for huge post-hardcore band Silverstein. As these five men graciously invited me into their world for a short while, a world of mustaches, loud music, friendship, trucking and arm wrestling, I noticed one thing; this was more than just a few guys band, it was a group of best friends doing what they love and having fun doing it.


Live 'N Loud (LNL): What type of music do you guys play?

Adam O’Brien (Guitar): Rock ‘N Roll

Jason Mooney (Guitar): Rock ‘N Roll high school, haha. Hardcore influenced modern pop punk.


LNL: You are fresh off an eastern Canadian Tour, any notable dates on the tour?

Chris van Ouwerkerk aka; Vano (Bass): We played in Toronto at Holy Joes, with Red October in Montreal in a place called Clydes, played in Charlottetown with the Artist Life and the Snips a couple of times.

Adam: We played with Blink 182 in Montreal.

Vano: Yeah, Blink 182 in Montreal, they came to see us. They opened for us, haha.


LNL: Charlottetown was a hometown show for you Vano, what was that like?

Vano: It’s the second time we did it, it’s always weird going home and playing in PEI. It was nice to play there, I got wrecked for five days.

Jason: I got wrecked for a full fifteen days.


LNL: It was a hometown show for Dean, in the Artist Life too – what was it like playing with them?

Vano: It’s fucking wicked. I’ve known Dean for years now, since 2003 he’s hooked me up so much. The guys are so down to earth, it was solid times. Ian was in Full Blast, so we played with a member of Full Blast – it was awesome.


LNL: You just filmed and debuted a video for a song of yours Sonny Rotax, how was that?

Jason: Yep, we shot a video.
Paul Bradley (Drums): In my house!

Jason: We crammed a bunch of kids into our jam spot, on the hottest day of the summer and played the song for four hours straight. I can now play that song behind my head.

Paul: And it was the day after Beer Olympics, the kids basically woke up on the floor and started moshing pretty much.

Jason: It was seriously about 60 degrees in there. It was everything we had hoped for, the song’s all about having fun with your friends and what’s important. We took all of our friends come out and support us for a music video.

Tim Reynolds (Vocals): It was filmed by our good friend Justin Oakey. He came down from Toronto to help us film it, he helped us out a lot.

Jason: He’s the reason I have this mustache.


LNL: So what’s the deal behind these mustaches? Four out of five of you are sporting a mustache, Tim why don’t you have one?

Tim: I’m the only straightedge member of the band, it’s not straight edge to have a mustache.

Jason: Justin Oakey has a mustache and he’s as straight edge as they come!

Tim: Yeah, but he’s a greasy bastard.


LNL: You’re opening for Silverstein today, and Shane the lead singer runs Verona Records, are you hoping he’ll catch your act and maybe get a bit of label interest generated?

Vano: The biggest thing we want is just for them to know that we’re here, to let people know we’re here.

Tim: We realized St. John’s has the biggest music scene in Canada and for those guys to be here now will help show what we have to offer to Canada.

Jason: Opportunities are there, and we’re just going to do what we do. If we turn heads, then we do.


LNL: Did you name yourselves Over the Top because you are indeed a band that is Over the Top?

Vano: No, we just like trucking and arm wrestling.

Adam: Sylvester Stallone is life, I fashioned my mustache after his life. His full life is symbolized in my mustache.

Vano: I just like trucking and arm wrestling.

Paul: And Over the Top is a wicked movie.

Vano: About trucking and arm wrestling.


LNL: Who does most of the writing in your band?

All: Everyone

Vano: It’s a team effort 100% there’s no one person who does it all.

Adam: I do it all.

Jason: It’s all by trial and error, everything is a group effort. We get together and try everything out, it’s all done together.


LNL: What’s the biggest challenge you face being a pop punk band in Newfoundland?

Vano: The sheer size of Newfoundland. The people here are amazing though, if you took these people here and put them everywhere in the world, we’d be the biggest band in the world. They support us so much.

Tim: The love that we get from St.John’s is immaculate and if we could get that everywhere, we’d do amazing. The amount of respect and the amount of support we’d get from home is awesome if we got that everywhere we’d do amazing. We’re just doing it one step at a time by touring, just let everyone see us and let everyone know who we are.

Jason: The biggest problem is the placement on the province, we love the road we love traveling so it works out.


LNL: What’s your ultimate direction that you’re headed? Fame and fortune? Recognition?

All: Fun!

Jason: We wanna go as many places as we can, and show everyone a good time.


LNL: What’s your advice to bands that WANT to come here?

Adam: Just do it.

Paul: It’s extra work, but it’s so worth it.

Tim: Kids here are so deprived of excellent music that they thrive on anything that comes through. They show so much support and people don’t know, they get blown away when they get here.

Jason: My favorite thing was one of the guys in the Snips said “Man I didn’t know there were bands in Newfoundland, let alone good ones!” Just come on and do it, it’s not that hard to get here and it’s worth it when you get here.


LNL: How can people outside of Newfoundland hear your music?

Jason: Well, you can call 709-75…. No I’m joking, haha. You can go to myspace.com/overthetop709 and check out absolutepunk.net we have a page set up there.

Vano: You can call me, I have a late night call service.


LNL: Thanks so much for everything! Do you have any last words for the fans?

Adam: Mustache

Jason: If you haven’t heard of us yet, you will.

Paul: Have fun!

Adam: Mustache

Vano: Mustache.

- Live 'N Loud Magazine/November 10 2009


"Over The Top, Making Music For The Love Of It"

Over The Top. A sensational punk/hardcore quintet from St. John’s, Newfoundland. The band is composed of Tim Reynolds on vocals, guitarists Jason Mooney and Adam O’Brien, Chris Van Ouwerkerk on bass as well as drummer Paul Bradley. These boys state that they put “their love for music, friends and each other above just about anything else”, and in their music video Sonny Rotax, they show just that. The band is climbing the ladder to success and is a big hit so far, check them out if you haven’t already!

Tonight I sat down and talked with Chris “VanO” the bassist for the band.
(Done Via E-mail)

Tyler: Thanks for taking the time to do the interview bro.

Chris: Thank you for having us buddy, and for doing this!

T: So how did Over The Top get together and how did the band start?

C: Over The Top came together as it is now in February 2009. It was a mix of guys from other solid locals bands from around here in St. John’s, and in my case Charlottetown, PEI. Tim was the exception, which was cool because he brought a fresh voice to the scene. We all came together with basically the same goal in mind, to have fun.

T: Where did the name come from?

C: Sylvester Stallone’s 1987 Truck Driving/Arm Wrestling Classic. It won the academy award for best movie ever made.

T: How would you describe the band to stage presence and sound?

C: Its pretty explosive. We have a big sound and a big presence. Its all built around fun. Tim is a machine up front, he knows how to get kids pumped and we get pumped because of it. We feed off the positivity of the crowd and each other. It rules.

T: The new EP “Home Is Where Our Friends Are” has been out for a couple months now, are there any plans to record a full-length or a second EP?

C: We are pretty pumped to be able to say we are recording starting the beginning of February here in St. John’s with our friend Adam Carter. We plan on having around 14-15 tracks written for the album including tracks off of the first EP redone. We aren’t sure on a title or date quite yet, but before June for sure

T: Even though it’s been out, and available for free download, for a while now how did you feel about the EP, and the recording process overall?

C: Yeah, it came out at the same time as our first show back in April, we planned it that way. Recording it was an amazing experience and is probably part of the reason why we are the band we are now. We really came together over that EP and while we were in the studio. It was a bonding/learning experience and it produced a really accurate representation of what Over The Top was at the time. We hope to capture that same feeling on the album.

T: What’s your opinion on free downloading? It does get the music and your name spread quickly and easily but does it hurt the artists at all?

C: We make music for people to hear music. We aren’t making a career out of music, we are just having fun and being happy. Our goal when we started was to get our music heard so giving it away for free made complete sense. Because of the support built off the EP we were able to tour and start taking things more seriously.

T: What do you guys eat on tour?

C: Wow, its all over the place. I am a total Peanut Butter Sandwich and water kinda guy. And Multivitamins. Paul eats out of truck stops…a lot of meat sticks and beer. Every now and then we have family-ish meals and we get pizza A LOT. I drink a lot of Pepsi

T: Pickles or Peanut Butter?

C: Peanut Butter saves lives

T: What’s in store for 2010?

C: We got an album, at least 1 tour which will include the north east, and maybe a big move!! we’ll see, its going to be a fun year.

T: That’s all for me, any shout outs or big news?

C: Check out our MySpace! You can give us a listen, talk to us, there is a link to download our 8 song EP if you haven’t done so yet, our music video for Sonny Rotax: King of the Sea is there and it links you to everything! That’s also the place to keep an eye for upcoming tour dates and album announcements!
Also if you are or you know any promoters from Ontario, the Maritimes, or the Northeastern United States get in touch with us through our MySpace or Facebook group! thanks!
- VisiONtheNet/ December 12 2009


Discography

Community - EP (2011)
- Streaming upon various hard rock podcasts
- Almost 3,000 online downloads since released online in October 2011
- Single: Monument

Never A Night Alone - Full Length (2010)
- Single: Sonny Rotax

Home Is Where Our Friends Are - EP (2009)

Photos

Bio

It’s not often that one finds a band quite like Over The Top in the contemporary heavy music landscape. In a world where musicianship and integrity are often overshadowed by image, Over The Top have consistently proven themselves to be among the most promising young bands that the genre has to offer. 

The band’s unique sound that blends hardcore and pop together is instantly recognizable. Pummeling verses seamlessly transition into bright melodies, bound together by an unwavering message of hope and overall positivity. Needless to say, Over The Top have come a long way since their formation in 2009. 

With a fan base that has progressively expanded beyond the band’s home province, Over The Top have toured Canada relentlessly since March 2009. The band’s upward trajectory truly took off after the release of their debut full-length, Never A Night Alone, in July 2010. The Self-Released effort turned heads across the country, as well as beyond its borders. The album was an immediate hit among fans of the genre, simultaneously garnering praise from scene luminaries and newcomers. Its impact was bold and far-reaching, going so far as to earn the band several opportunities throughout the end of that year into 2011 such as taking part in Canadian Music Week, Junofest and being personally asked to open for genre godfathers ‘NOFX’. 

At a point when most bands would take time off to relax, Over The Top proved themselves once again to be as hardworking as they come. The band toured extensively and released a new EP titled ‘Community’ in October 2011. The EP was another instant hit among fans, and served as a glimpse of the band’s direction with future material. As a result of the EP’s success, the band’s touring regimen has quickly increased in intensity. In addition to constantly playing dates with various tour packages, 2012 has offered Over The Top the opportunity to meet with Blackbox Recordings to talk of future plans, to take part in Canada’s “Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour” (a National tour offering Canada’s best in the genre) as well as to be included in Montreal, Quebec’s Musqie Plus sponsored punk festival ‘Pouzzafest’.  

The accomplishments that Over The Top have achieved in a short period of time have come about as a result of the band’s unrelenting dedication to their craft. Their passion for writing and playing music that is genuine has allowed them to surpass the expectations that anyone had for them at the beginning of their career. The band are more determined than ever before to make a lasting impact on their music scene, spread the love of their province and their infectious spirit to inspiring fans everywhere they go. Armed with heart and hope, Over The Top plan on spreading their music and message as far and wide as humanly possible in the coming years.