Archetypal scene dude: So yeah these guys are like super huge in Europe; I am sure they are going to hit it big over here. But I saw them like three years ago in like a port-a-potty with no electricity and they had a generator going to plug in their instruments. But you know they are socially conscious, so it was a generator that ran on vegetable oil. There was like only twenty people there; I mean it was one of those handicap port-a-potties, so it was like intimate but still roomy.
Me: (Blank Stare)
Archetypal scene dude: Yeah, I actually think the venue closed down. The place was on a construction site or something so I guess they just finished the building and took it down. Every so often a steel worker wearing a hard hat would come in and take a shit while the band played; so punk rock.
Me: (Furrowing my brow)
Archetypal scene dude: Yeah they used to have this quasi-SoCal skate sound with some definite Euro-flare thrown in, but I've really come to enjoy their modern rock influenced intelligent post-hardcore sound.
Me: (Leaving the store trying to figure out what just happened)
The sticker on the cover of this album reads, "For fans of Matchbook Romance and Fall Out Boy." Naturally I was expecting something poppy but with a more modern sound, with less punk rock song structure. What I hear is the equivalent of a book report on the last ten years of pop punk; an aural history of what went right and a little of what went terribly wrong.
After the first couple listens it felt as if I was listening to one of the Epitaph Punk-O-Rama compilations when they were still in their glory days. Sure you'd buy it for names on the marquee like NOFX, Bad Religion and Pennywise but then there are all those tracks that had you thinking, "Why did Mr. Brett ever sign these guys?" They aren't really bad and you can get into them, but in all truth, they are not really that good either. All the parts are in place: crunching riffs, solid melody, and strong vocals. Yet, it's still totally forgettable.
It wasn't until I gave this album its fifth or sixth spin was I able to really point out a comparison. At first my heart was telling me Sum-41 from the Half Hour of Power days, which, to this day, I will argue was a top notch pop-punk album. The other releases after that were just garbage playing to whatever ever trend was selling at the time. But then my heart strayed; these songs were different in a way I couldn't put my finger on. These songs were too So-Cal. And now thinking about the album, I realize the songs are totally forgettable, just like many of those Epitaph bands that failed to make the cut.
5.0 / 10
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