Held On Till May’s first full-length release, Wayward, drives a next-level pop-punk energy

Described as music that could make a wolverine purr, Held On Till May’s first full-length album, Wayward, is a non-stop pop-punk celebration. With catchy melodies, heavy drums and relatable lyrics, this record is made for any fan of the genre. 

Their 2016 debut Same Four Walls landed them substantial recognition, from top spots on SA campus radios to nationwide tours. Plus, they’ve shared the stage with the likes of Memphis May Fire, Francois Van Coke, Arno Carstens and Straatligkinders. 

With a road seemingly bound for success,Wayward might just be the next step up on Held On Till May’s ladder. The whole album whiffs of next-level energy. “Years” (feat. Soné Briel) features guitar licks at their absolute finest, “Piling Up” reminds me of Placebo’s glam vocals, and “Hate That I’m” takes the cake for stormy openers.

Yet there’s a quality of overt rock-pop writing on this record that’s tiring. Wayward is screaming for versatility, something that says “Yes, we can make great punky tunes, but that’s not all we know how to do”. “Fool For You” gets especially close, but it’s not enough to save the record from itself, and with just a little bit of restraint, Held On Till May could really let their unyielding spirit fly high.