SOMETIMES you feel your age - like when trying to stay in the mosh pit for more than five minutes, or the ache in the bones after standing for several days at a festival. Or worse, watching Kerrang! TV after coming home after several bevvies.
Which makes it all the more challenging when you sit down to review an ep, that would slot right into the KTV schedule or Scuzz, now that they've decided to go all...well soft.
However, the reality is that these outlets and the associated mainstream press are the gateway to wider rock and metal tastes for many people, young and old.
And, with the ep release from Forever Never hitting the shelves this week there is another gateway for fans to explore their tastes.
This sincere production just has enough of a split identity to gather new fans, intrigue some more and perhaps even persuade cynical, hardened hacks not to dismiss the new kids on the rock block.
Intrinsically within the music there is a selection of healthy, melodic rock, with some nice touches - even if 'Pray' relies too heavily on the Linkin Park motif.
'Never Giving Up' and title track 'Speak Up' are the strongest here, and 'One Life' has a promising riff that may well augur for the future, despite the overtly Skindred feel of the track.
Renny is a powerful singer, but one feels that he should further develop his own range.
What does stand out are the socially aware lyrics, something that can be taken to another level live and on future releases.
Overall 'Speak Up' is not a bad release, however, too many references to other bands and a weak track means this as much a curate's egg than anything else. It will appeal to certain people, but overall this sounds like a band finding their feet and identity.
Given all that, it's still worth checking out - and to help you along the way below is the video for 'We Won't Save The World'.