Reviews Banquets Top Button, Bottom Shelf


Top Button, Bottom Shelf

New Jersey might get a lot of crap for being such an unlovable state, but Banquets is keeping the Jersey music scene fresh and alive with their debut album Top Button, Bottom Shelf. It’s pretty easy to get lost and washed away in the midst of melodic pop-punk bands, but Banquets sits on the shores by proving themselves to be more than that with this record. It’s not a perfect record, but what debut album is? As far as a debut goes, Banquets can count this one as a success.

“377” is an amazing opener track that makes a strong impression and leaves me wanting more—it’s exactly how I want an album to open. I have zero complaints with the song and at this point it’s sold me on listening to the rest of the record. Unfortunately I find the rest of the record to be a roller coaster of highs and lows. “Just Me And My Canseco Rookie Card” is far too relatable to the actual song title than to my musical taste. The song feels like a rookie move and sounds slightly too generic for it to really stand out on the album. Just when I thought the record might fall short, it picks back up again with “Forever Bender, ” a song showcasing that promise the opener track displayed.

“Fireplug” and “Sometimes A Wolf” really end the album on a high note for me. These are the songs I want to hear when I’m driving; these are the songs I want to sing along to live; these are the songs that make a record like this really stand above the generic crowd. My main issue is that, beyond the handful of standout tracks, I think the record is easy to forget and move on from. Banquets definitely have the ability to be more than just another Jersey band and they’ve proven that with this debut album. Now it’s up to them to push themselves to their full potential. Rather than just shining on a handful of tracks, next time let’s hope it’s throughout the entire record.

6.5 / 10Kristen Swanson
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6.5 / 10

6.5 / 10

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