Bands can sometimes get falsely categorized by those who don’t know any better. And it really only takes a few misapplications of a genre to a band before you get frustrated, or simply declare the said genre dead to you. Anyways, we approach the new Pink Razors record Leave Alive with the term pop-punk somewhat lodged in most descriptions of their sound. I can’t really dispute this classification in general, but this band isn’t what comes to mind when I hear that term. Pink Razors’ sound is pop-punk more in the sense of Descendents, or even a sped-up Avail. It may be better described as fast melodic punk than what most people would classify as pop-punk.
Anyways, this new record is Pink Razors’ second full-length, and we see them expanding on the solid sound of 2006’s Waiting to Wash Up. Right off the bat, you hear the addition of guitarist/vocalist Erin Tobey, who lends her songwriting abilities and a new set of vocals to the table. The overall sound of the record sounds more focused than before, with longer songs and more varied tempos. But Leave Alive doesn’t necessarily feel weaker or overproduced; the overall tone is certainly still present, and arguably put to better use this time around.
The tracks on Waiting to Wash Up were all fast, catchy, and to the point; they’re just fun. But it begins to blend together at a certain point, and that’s certainly changed on their newest record. It opens with “Back Home,” a familiar sounding track where we can hear the new vocal pairings quite well. The pace is a bit slower than normal, drawing them a little farther from their folk-punk friends like This Bike is a Pipe Bomb or Defiance, Ohio. The arrangements sound a little softer around the edges, sacrificing some of their speed for more melodic tones.
I ended up hearing a few different sounds in this record that I wouldn’t have expected. My early comparisons to bands like The Loved Ones slip away to be replaced by some 90’s Midwest bands. The third track, “Geometric Park” even reminds me of Pretty Girls Make Graves, with Tobey singing by herself for the whole track. So what does this mean for a verdict?
Basically, I really like this record. The straightforward approach to Waiting to Wash Up is slightly muddled here, which is certainly part of what drew me to Pink Razors in the first place. But we instead find richer progressions that show a new, more evolved side of this band. And in this case, it works very well. They bring in a few post-whatever sounds that enhance the punk feel of Leave Alive, and leaves me satisfied without ever going too experimental.
7.5 / 10
Pink Razors is a pop-punk band from Richmond, Virginia that plays a fast and catchy form of music comparable to Latterman. The band has released a full-length and split with ...
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