Survival PopSideOneDummy Records
By Cole Faulkner
Brooklyn, New York pop-punk band Worriers has been going strong for over six years since The Measure [SA] called it a day. Front woman Lauren Denitzio has since made the project a natural next step, with a lineup featuring the likes of Mikey Erg, Lou Hanman and Audrey Zee Whitesides, ensuring that each song is catchy and fun. The formula is simple and buoyant – bubbly in a four-chord pop-punk kind of way without surrendering ambition. For Worriers second full length, Survival Pop, Denitzio capitalizes on her calm and collected intonation, making for a warm and inviting listen.
Survival Pop comes across like a warm cup of cocoa. Whereas labelmate Alison Weiss beams like a ray of sunshine on a sunny day, Worriers warms listeners from the inside out. The flame flickers to life with opener “My 85th Rodeo,” an unassuming little piece of pop-rock with plenty of fun little hooks built from simple riffs and steady melody. To force a comparison, think Cayetana with a little more pep. “Possibility” echos such a jovial zest, capitalizing on the hopeful insight of the chorus line, “in between anxiety and hindsight.” “Gaslighter” follows with a far more down to earth appeal. Predicated upon the sound of Denitzio’s vocals and mellow guitar chords, the song raises the stakes during the chorus only to retract to a darker corner for each following verse. It fits the band’s self-reflective mandate while maintaining a great balance against quicker paced songs like “Best Fear / Worst Fantasy.” Speaking of the latter, the band’s fast paced approach to witty identity affirming songwriting shines through in cheeky little lines like “I hope I never have any children, I hope they have many many.” In a way, this line summarizes the album’s general sense of internal tension lurking just below the surface.
Overall, Worriers offer a strong but safe album. Survival Pop’s underlying warmth depicts a band that is comfortable in their own skin, willing to share what typically amounts to private thoughts in an accessible and relatable way. Worriers way not reinvent the wheel, but they roll along confidently nonetheless. Those with an appreciation for humble and catchy pop-punk will find Survival Pop an easy choice.