I hadn’t realized how much I had missed pop punk.
Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math (2011)
In mid April, my friend and I went to an acoustic show headlined by Dustin Kensrue and Andy Hull. I hadn’t a clue who Andy Hull was, and I kind of still don’t. And honestly I found his set a little bit of a downer; definitely not something I felt great standing an hour for. But my friend insisted that his band had at least one awesome album entitled Simple Math. I’ve since listened to it, many times in fact. And while I don’t think I’d describe it as a whole as awesome, it does have some really outstanding songs on it. Overall, the album it’s pretty relaxing with some really well written songs. Pensacola sounds particularly out of place though with it’s overly upbeat tempo, and quickly spoken and harmonized lyrics. Mighty on the other hand is an insanely good tune that’s dark and has this wickedly subtle, crunchy and syncopated guitar melody. While I enjoyed Simple Math, I don’t know if I’ll be venturing into the rest of Manchester Orchestra’s catalogue. If this is the best they have to offer, it might require something more than a recommendation to sell me on the rest.
Bomb tracks: Deer, Mighty, April Fool
American Hi-Fi – Blood & Lemonade (2014)
I honestly haven’t heard a single song from American Hi-Fi other than Flavor of the Week from many, many years ago. In fact, I was still in grade school when that came out and back then I still listened to pop-punk regularly for reasons other than nostalgia and random fandom. And I was a scrawny kid who wouldn’t break skate boards by standing on them. Seeing that they have a new album 13 years later piqued my interest a little, so I took the bait. And Oh my Lord, they sound exactly like I remember! They still play straight up, honest to goodness pop punk. And what’s more, is that they haven’t fallen to the trend of integrating keyboards and autotune like so many other pop punk bands. Four chord songs, two guitars, a bass and drummer. It’s been so many years since I’ve heard “new” pop punk that I really enjoyed listening to this. The album has some songs that venture into something a little heavier such as Amnesia and Killing Time which sound almost like Filter songs, but for the most part it’s that simple four chord pop punk from the early 2000’s when you could put two words together and it was probably the name of a band. And the band was probably produced by Greig Nori.
Bomb tracks: Armageddon Days, Coma, Carry the Sorrow
New Found Glory – Resurrection (2014)
MOAR POP PUNK! Though, New Found Glory always bordered on the emo side. Anyway, the theme this month for singers was high pitched. I really enjoyed this album a lot, silly lyrics about dinosaurs and all. It’s fast paced, has some really kick ass guitar riffs and some of those crowd pleasing choruses that I haven’t heard since Good Charlotte was still a thing. The best way to describe this album is if you’re looking to make your summer party to feel like it’s part of the American Pie series, mix a few of these songs in there. Selfless and One More Round would make for the perfect back drop to over drinking and splashing water on your manboobs. Just me? Oh well. It’s a fun album and stop judging me.
Bomb tracks: Selfless, Ready and Willing, One More Round
Ryan’s Rockin’ June 2015 Spotify Playlist:
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