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Jetty Bones Release Stream Of ‘No Lover’ From ‘Old Women’ EP

Jetty Bones Promo Aug 17Take This To Heart Records have announced that they have signed Jetty Bones and will be releasing their brand new EP, Old Women, on October 6th. The band will also be hitting the road next month with The Wonder Years, Laura Stevenson and The Obsessives, and you can now stream their blistering new single, No Lover, think an older Paramore mixed with Tiny Moving Parts and you can almost get a grasp on what Jetty Bones is all about. The Old Women EP will be released October 6th on vinyl, CD and digital  formats via Take This To Heart Records and you can pre-order the EP here

No Lover can be streamed here and Jetty Bones tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

The Wonder Years Announce Acoustic Tour

The Wonder Years bandPhiladelphia pop punk group The Wonder Years will playing a series of intimate solo tour dates in support of their upcoming acoustic EP.  The EP will be titled Burst & Decay and is set to drop on September 22nd, 2017.

Listen to the song “There, There” from the upcoming EP below.

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The Obsessives Announce Fall Tour

Obsessives Fall Tour 17The Obsessives have just announced a tour this fall with The Wonder Years, Laura Stevenson and Jetty Bones. The tour begins on September 24th in Detroit and runs through to the 8th October in New York. Tickets will be available Friday, August 4th at 10 AM local time, The Obsessives are touring in support of their self titled album that was released earlier this year.
 
The Obsessives is available here (US), here (UK), here (AU) and digitally here
 
You can view the video for You’re My God, and The Obsessives tour dates, below

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The Wonder Years Working On Next Album

The Wonder Years bandPhiladelphia pop punk group The Wonder Years have made known via Twitter that they are working on a new album.  The band writes:

“Happy 2017. Time to get to work. We’ve got a record to write. We love you.”

The band continues to support their latest LP, No Closer to Heaven, available now through Hopeless Records.

Tours: The Wonder Years / Real Friends / Knuckle Puck / Moose Blood / Seaway

Wonder YearsPhiladelphia pop punk group The Wonder Years have announced that they will be heading on tour with Real Friends, Knuckle Puck,Moose Blood, and Seaway.  The band continues to support their latest LP, No Closer to Heaven, available now through Hopeless Records.

Full tour listings can be found below.

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The Wonder Years – No Closer To Heaven

The Wonder Years

No Closer to Heaven

Hopeless Records
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

During the past few years The Wonder Years have chronicled the highs and lows of depression and existential angst. The passionate lyrics found an audience who could relate, a group of outsiders looking for someone who could relate. Much like the early days of punk music, the music and its message showed listeners that they were not alone, that their thoughts and feelings were important and that somewhere out there existed people just like them. The evolution that the band has undergone throughout five albums is staggering in magnitude, from the embarrassingly awkward easycore beginnings through modern pop punk to the stylistically mature sound introduced on The Greatest Generation. After wrapping up their trilogy, the guys show that they are comfortable with their skills on the new release, which is a slighter shift in sound than we’ve heard from the band. Instead they build upon the high points of their last album with small explorations of new ideas. Constant touring and a larger recording budget have helped the band most fully realize their vision.

While Dan Campbell’s lyrics have always been a focal point for fans (although there is arguably nothing worth worshipping in duds like “Let’s Moshercise!”), he has significantly grown as a writer over the past couple albums. His appreciation of classic writers has never been a secret, but occasionally the lyrical tributes have been a little awkward. Hemingway’s straightforward prose and descent into alcoholism are appropriate touchstones, but the exceptional work of wordsmith Faulkner is out of Campbell’s wheelhouse, despite the fact that his Southern Gothic tales are also brimming with despair. While there is plenty of self reflection found, there are moments of social commentary that were absent in past releases. On “Stained Glass Ceilings,” he sings John Wayne with a God complex/ Tells me to buy a gun/ Like shooting a teenage kid is gonna solve any problems, touching a nerve that is all too relevant in the Orwellian world of the U.S. today. 

No Closer to Heaven fits thematically in the progression of the last three albums. Campbell expresses discomfort through deadpan realism, forcing listeners to ride along with his emotions as he explores the monotony of everyday life. There are moments of triumph to temper the melancholy, but there are no big surprises here. Strong songwriting and smart lyrics are balanced with capable musicianship and moments of experimentation. It wouldn’t be accurate to place his lyrics alongside masters like John K. Samson or John Darnielle yet, but at 28 years old Campbell has an excellent grasp on the intricacies of emotion.

If you recognize that “Brothers &” serves as a simple intro to “Cardinals,” No Closer to Heaven is 12 tracks of alternative music with some pop punk and folk tendencies weaved in. There are bonus tracks that can be found out there, but they take away from the completeness of the album. Which is exactly what this is, a complete album with wonderful artwork that tells a story of hopelessness. In a digital age, there are still artists who create entire albums as a piece of art (see Defeater’s Abandoned) and that is exactly what we have here. The songs are individually great, but better as a part of the whole, with common threads of birds and sadness tying it all together. Many of the songs will have a familiar feel, but those that expand their sound are the highlights that elevate this release above the rest of their discography. On “Stained Glass Ceilings” they experiment with emo guitar parts in the hushed beginning, which slowly builds toward an intense breakdown which features letlive.’s Jason Butler adding unexpected gravel throated grit that serves as a brilliant contrast from the melodic majority of the track. On “You in January” the music has a driving power pop sound in the vein of Third Eye Blind, which is interesting partnered with Campbell’s easily identifiable vocal style. There are times when the music reaches anthemic heights with soaring vocals (Palm Reader) and moments of 1960’s harmonies (A Song for Ernest Hemingway). Single “Cigarettes & Saints” is a restrained song that could have fit just as easily on an Aaron West & the Roaring Twenties release. These elements help to inject the music with depth, helping to distinguish it from previous releases.  

Part elegy to a lost friend, part autobiographical account of struggling to cope with depression, the album has an undeniable bleakness that weighs heavy. It is a concept album in the loosest of terms, more accurately a musical discussion of mental illness and the weight of societal expectation in the Western World. There are moments of tenderness found here, but at times the band is at their most aggressive. The balance between chaos and calm threads itself throughout the track list. Some listeners still insist on lazily labelling The Wonder Years a pop punk band, but their music evolved well beyond the stifling limitations of that scene albums ago. The literary approach to the lyrics allows the band to explore themes of death, faith and depression in depth. 

 

The Wonder Years – Thanks For The Ride

Wonder YearsPhiladelphia pop punk group The Wonder Years have premiered a new song from their new album.  The track is titled “Thanks For The Ride” appears on their freshly dropped new LP, No Closer to Heaven, released today through Hopeless Records. The album features an appearance from letlive. vocalist Jason Aalon Butler.

Listen to the song below.

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The Wonder Years – I Don’t like Who I Was Then

Wonder YearsPhiladelphia pop punk group The Wonder Years have premiered a new song from their upcoming album.  The track is titled “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then” and will appear on No Closer to Heaven, due out on September 4, 2015 through Hopeless Records. The album features an appearance from letlive. vocalist Jason Aalon Butler.

Listen to the song here courtesy AltPress.

Tours: The Wonder Years / Motion City Soundtrack / State /and You Blew It!

Wonder YearsThe Wonder Years, Motion City Soundtrack, State Champs and You Blew It! have announced plans for a joint Fall tour.  The Wonder Years will be supporting their upcominf album, No Closer To Heaven, which will be released on September 4, 2015 via Hopeless Records, with Motion City Soundtrack following with their sixth studio album, Panic Stations, due out  September 18, 2015 via Epitaph Records.

TWY VIP Stripped Down Session bundle tickets are on sale now and general tickets will go on sale Thursday, August 13th at 10AM local time. The full list of cities the tour will be hitting can be found below.

Full tour listings are below.

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Video: The Wonder Years – Cigarettes & Saints

The Wonder Years bandPhiladelphia pop punk group The Wonder Years have premiered a new music video from their recently announced upcoming album.  The video features the song “Cigarettes & Saints,” which will appear on No Closer to Heaven, due out on September 4, 2015 through Hopeless Records.  The album features an appearance from letlive. vocalist Jason Aalon Butler.

Watch the new music video below.

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Video: The Wodner Years – Cigarettes & Saints

The Wonder Years bandPop-punk outfit The Wonder Years has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Cigarettes & Saints” from their upcoming full length, Closer to Heaven, due for release on September 4, 2015 via Hopeless Records.

Watch the video below and place your pre-orders here.

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The Wonder Years Announce Acoustic In-Store Shows

The Wonder Years bandThe Wonder Years has announced that they will be heading out on a series of in-store signings and acoustic shows in late August and September. The band are out in support of their upcoming full length, Closer to Heaven, due for release on September 4th.

Check out the full list of dates below.

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Video: The Wonder Years – Cardinals

Wonder YearsPhiladelphia pop punk group The Wonder Years have premiered a new music video from their recently announced upcoming album.  The video features the song “Cardinals,” which will appear on No Closer to Heaven, due out on September 4, 2015 through Hopeless Records.  The album features an appearance from letlive. vocalist Jason Aalon Butler.

Watch the new music video below.

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The Wonder Years Announce New Album & Unveil First Single

Wonder YearsPhiladelphia pop punk group The Wonder Years have announced first details for their upcoming album. 

Hopeless Records will release No Closer to Heaven on September 4, 2015.

The album features an appearance from letlive. vocalist Jason Aalon Butler.

Full tracklisting can be seen below. Preorders are available here. The first single from the album, Cardinals, can be heard below.

 

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Modern Baseball Post ‘Pothole’ Video, Announce Tour

Modern BaseballPhiladelphia emo punks Modern Baseball have posted a video for their track Pothole. The song is taken from their sophomore album You’re Gonna Miss It All, released earlier this year by Run For Cover Records. The band have also announced an autumn tour along with I Am The Avalanche, Beach Slang, The Story So Far, The Wonder Years and Gnarwolves.

The video for Pothole as well as the full of dates can be found below.

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Tours: The Wonder Years (Australia)

The Wonder YearsThe Wonder Years has announced that they will be heading down under this September for a tour.  The band continues to support their latest full length, The Greatest Generation, released last year on Hopeless Records.  

Full Australian tour dates are below.

Video: The Wonder Years – Dismantling Summer

The Wonder Years- The Greatest GenerationThe Wonder Years has debuted a brand new music video.  The video features the song “Dismantling Summer” from their latest full length, The Greatest Generation, released last year on Hopeless Records.  

Watch the video below.

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Live Concert Review

The Wonder Years

Live in Calgary (March 14, 2014)

The Den
By

 
 

 

 

Standing in the long lineup prior to the sold out show in Calgary from the Greatest Generation tour, I noticed that the average age of attendees appeared to be somewhere in the vicinity of 14, with a surprisingly strong representation from females. This is curious because headliner The Wonder Years’ lyrics express the existential angst of 20 & 30 somethings. But I always welcome youthful enthusiasm and encourage participation in social events, so I entered one of Calgary’s lousiest venues, The UofC’s The Den, with a positive outlook toward the upcoming show.

 The sold out show started at 645 as Modern Baseball took the stage. They played a short 8 song set, which concluded with their newest single, Your Graduation, which naturally received the biggest response. Only about half of the crowd was in the venue for this set, the joys of playing first in the lineup, but those there appeared to enjoy the group, whether they were singing along passionately or simply swaying along with a smile. They were the surprise highlight of the night, translating the songs from their two albums into a live setting well. Jokes about Zach Braff lookalikes, actively engaging the audience and starting discussions about Tubby Dog and Battle of the Bands (which would continue throughout the night) provided some friendly banter during frequent between song guitar tunings.

After a short break, Citizen took the stage. The vocals were often unfortunately buried in the sound mix. You could see him singing, but it was lost in the sound. The crowd engaged well, which was great to see. One can only assume that many of the teens passionately singing along to Citizen had raided their parents’ dusty CD collections and discovered a plethora of great 90s alternative bands. There was a lot of beards and flannel being sported in non-ironic ways in the pit during this set. That may have simply been the result of the fact that all of the 30 something lumberjacks came down from the mountains into Calgary for the show though. The crowd spent a few songs standing completely still, slack jawed as they watched the group alternate between Jimmy Eat World emo melodies and droning feedback. They burned through the songs from Youth with vigor, ending predictably with breakout hit, The Summer. Overall, the set was a wonderful contrast to the happy melodies of Modern Baseball. Both groups pulled off wonderful sets, despite very different musical styles. Those who came in late really missed out on some great music.

The night moved quickly and Real Friends were on stage by 810. They kicked off the set with Floorboards with its’ blend of classic pop punk in the vein of The Movielife and familiar vocals that make it obvious why they’d be touring alongside The Wonder Years. They alternated between upbeat pop punk and sappy sing alongs, which found the suddenly female heavy crowd overpowering the band with their sweet mass melodies. It was an interesting contrast to the grungy sound of Citizen. After the first song, they tried to get the crowd to move back for safety reasons because all of the tiny teen girls at the front were being squished against the stage. While vocalist Dan Lambton was grinning like a maniac between songs, the other guys up front looked almost bored as they played through most of the set. Despite rumours that they are gearing up for a full length release, they stuck to the familiar during the live set. The crowd sang the first minute of I’ve Given Up on You for them, which is always a goosebump inducing happening. They followed the somber song with catchy Late Nights in My Car. Real Friends put on a solid set of throwback pop punk with sappy lyrics that was a natural fit considering the headliner.

I openly admit that whoever was slated to replace Defeater was going to be a hard sell for me. The diverse lineup including relative newcomers on the scene was very exciting and the balance between poppy punk and grittier bands was exciting and refreshing. While Defeater’s absence was understandable, Fireworks were a curious replacement. Maybe they were the only available band when the spot opened up almost last minute? Regardless, they were there and ready to play shortly before 9 to a modest crowd. While there seemed to be a large amount of apathy for their set (many people left to go sit at the tables in the back of the venue), there were definitely some stoked kids right up front singing along to their blend of mediocre 90s radio rock and Fall Out Boy styled emo pop. Arrows received a bit of a positive crowd response, but they left the stage to the crowd chanting for Detroit, which is an odd omission. Sure, they have a new album to promote and their biggest song isn’t really reflective of their sound, but curious all the same. The set went on a little too long for my taste.

That small hiccup was quickly forgotten as The Wonder Years took the stage. Having seen them less than a year ago in the same venue, it was great to welcome them back for a longer set. Dan Campbell’s beard has filled out in the interim, but for the most part it felt like they’d only been here yesterday (in a good way). Since this is the Greatest Generation tour, it makes sense to expect a heavy dose of the newest album, which was fine by me. If you remember, it was one of my favorite albums of 2013. They kicked off the set on a high point with There, There and Passing Through a Screen Door from that album, before looking back to Local Man Ruins Everything and My Life As a Pigeon from Suburbia… They quickly transitioned between songs with minimal banter, demonstrating their growth as a band over the past few years. The crowd was wild and singing along, right from the stage to the shadowy back walls. On You’re Not Salinger. Get Over It the crowd picked up the lyrics so chin up and we’ll drown a little slower repeating it over and over in the latter part of the song. One of the highlights was The Devil in My Bloodstream, which had a pretty piano accompaniment and a heartfelt crowd sing along. Most of the set featured songs from The Greatest Generation, with the occasional inclusion of songs from the previous two albums including crowd favorites Last Semester and Everything I Own Fits in This Backpack from The Upsides.

Campbell precluded Dismantling Summer with a story about their attempt to play every US state. When the venue they were supposed to play in North Dakota cancelled, they went across the river and played in another town. To complete a show in ND, the band announced that they would be heading back across to play a late night acoustic set in a Walmart parking lot. He said that the reason that he was coughing between songs was that they’d played this set in the cold night, finishing with the great line excuse me if I’m sick, but I was being a fucking punk. Before playing the final songs of the set, he asked an audience member to time them for 45 seconds after the set so that they could go puke before returning for the encore. The crowd rallied as they launched into Washington Square Park and Came Out Swinging. Campbell literally swam the audience to the very back of the crowd while singing the latter song before returning back to the stage. They guys visibly gave it their all the entire set and ended on a high note. After a brief reprieve they returned to serenade the crowd out with the slower sounds of I Just Want to Sell Out My Funeral.

As a whole, the evening was a great blend of musical styles that simultaneously complemented and contrasted with each other. Each band had their own feverish fan base in attendance, but they all had the entire crowd engaged. It was a wonderful experience. 

The Wonder Years Announce North American Tour

The Wonder Years - HopelessFollowing closely on the heels of an announcement of European dates, The Wonder Years continue The Greatest Generation World Tour with the announcement of a North American leg set for the spring of 2014.

Support for this portion of the tour, which includes dates in Canada and the US, will be Defeater, Citizen, Real Friends and Modern Baseball.

General admission tickets for the tour go on sale Friday, December 13 at 10 am.

The band is offering a VIP Bundle, which includes a special acoustic set and a number of other goodies for fans. Complete details on the VIP bundle and ticket purchases can be found here. Full tour dates can be seen below.

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Video: Dan Campbell (The Wonder Years) – ‘Madelyn’

Dan CampbellDan Campbell, front man for Pennsylvania pop punks The Wonder Years recently performed an acoustic set for Glamour Kills clothing.

His version of Madelyn, a song from the bands most recent full length album The Greatest Generation, released earlier this year via Hopeless Records can be viewed below.

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Video: The Wonder Years – There, There

The Wonder Years - SuburbiaThe Wonder Years has debuted a brand new music video.  The video features the track “There, There” which appears on their brand new album, The Greatest Generation, released in mid-May this year via Hopeless Records.

Watch the video below.

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Driver Friendly Release The Wonder Years Cover

driver friendlyAustin indie band Driver Friendly have released a cover of There There, a song by Pennsylvania pop punks The Wonder Years that originally appeared on their 2013 full length, The Greatest Generation. The cover came about as the two groups share a label in Hopeless Records and is available to fans as a free download if they sign up to the bands mailing list.

You can check out Driver Friendly’s  cover of There There, here (thanks to Alt Press).

Wonder Years, The / All Or Nothing

Wonder Years, The / All Or Nothing

Distances (7")

No Sleep Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

On The Wonder Years‘ debut full length, Get Stoked On It!, it was clear that the band were trying way too hard to be that ultra gimmicky, happy-go-lucky band. It worked to their disadvantage as the more you listened to the album, the more irritating it became. They keyboards were overbearing and the immature vocals aggravating – not to mention the piss poor artwork as well. So while they had enough similarities to bands that I liked so that I couldn’t write them off completely, I could scarcely consider myself a fan.

But on their new split with Birmingham, England’s All Or NothingThe Wonder Years have taken leaps and bounds ahead of where they were beforehand. The instance the needle hit the beautiful white and blue splatter seven inch, I knew something was better. The band still isn’t at the same level of Set Your Goals but are close as they fall somewhere around the Daggermouth style of pop-punk/hardcore amalgamation. They’ve limited the use of the keyboard to the point where it’s become an afterthought and added bonus as opposed to the leading factor of the song. The vocals are stronger than before, more distinct and more captivating; even outshining Jordan Brown’s delivery on Set Your Goals‘ recent This Will Be The Death of Us. Lyrically, they haven’t changed much but it seems more fluid and natural then before and while still slightly immature, The Wonder Years have some nice turn of phrases in the songs that made me reach for the lyrics sheet.

It may not be the perfect Side A, but its a lot better than expected as they’re much more focused on writing a good solid hook as compared to being the gimmicky band they were before which makes me interested to hear what they do on their next release.

Unfortunately, side B from Birmingham’s All or Nothing doesn’t offer the same selling points. They follow in the same footsteps of The Wonder Years but in a much more straight forward fashion. Eliminating the keyboard, they’ve delivered two songs that follow a more conventional pop-punk, new-era New Found Glory song structure. The downside here though is the vocals. They aren’t terrible, and do have a few great gang chorus like the vinyl verse of Im Not Being Rude, But I Could Have Had Your Job; the problem is that they’re just too poppy, even more nasally and high pitched than Jordan Pudnik. They just don’t work all the time and in the two songs they deliver to the split, they’re never able to really grab me.

For a quick four song split seven inch, it’s not too bad but it does have a few bumps along the way. However, I’ll happily keep my eyes open for any future outputs from the bands, something I wouldn’t have said beforehand.

The Wonder Years - The Upsides

The Wonder Years

The Upsides

No Sleep Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Had any other band snatched up the Fred Savage inspired name, it would have been an injustice to the since near-forgotten piece of TV history.  The show once captivated millions every week with its American apple pie take on the trials of growing up.  Its audience hung on the every word of its naïve and innocent narrator as he nostalgically spun tales of high school relationships and responsibilities.  Despite a thick greasy layer of cheese oozing over the show’s every moment; the basic moralistic formula lasted six seasons because of its uplifting, hopeful subject matter.  And when it comes to the band that shares the show’s name, the same can be said of their sophomore effort, The Upsides.

True (and like the show), The Wonder Years tread dangerously close to a cookie-cutter pop-punk formula (somewhere around The Starting Line territory) – mix one part Broadway Calls, one part Simple Plan, and a teeny-tiny dash of skate punk and you get the Philadelphia pop-punkers –  but the strength of their lyrical awareness cushions their delivery.  “My Last Semester” opens with the passage “I’m Not Sad Anymore, I’m just tired and displaced, the weight of the world would be okay if it would pick a shoulder to lean on,” after which point vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell goes on to detail the surprisingly accurate “thank god it’s over!” feel most university graduates experience on their way out after four or five years of courses.  It’s the perfect primer for the album’s central theme of holding one’s head high while moving through life’s stages.  “I can see we brought it on our selves with bad attitudes” he insightfully sings in “Logan Circle” – if only most pop-punk groups could realize such truths the world would have far less depressed adolescents. After all, such sunny insights lumps The Wonder Years closer in with Broadway Calls school of pop punk than the “I’m just a kid and life is a nightmare” inspired moaning of Simple Plan clones.

Musically, those typically critical of high-pitched pop-punk might find a few surprising moments throughout The Upsides.  While certainly not at the height of the genre, The Wonder Years have a few reoccurring tricks.  For example, “Everything I Own Fits In This Backpack” includes some borderline hardcore gang vocals that really lift the track above the otherwise ho-hum verse.  Other great moments, like on “Hostels & Brothels,” come in the form of blistering skate punk drumming – and while technically an old strategy, it’s a great tool for varying the album’s pace and keeping listeners guessing.

Overall, The Wonder Years have produced a fine pop-punk product.  Aside from a few unique moments the instrumentation might be nothing to gush over, but The Wonder Years’ lyrical maturity gives them a definite draw.  Those looking for an excuse to be sad need not apply; but if you’re looking for an uplifting take on a familiar package, check out The Upside.

The Wonder Years - Suburbia

The Wonder Years

Suburbia: I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing

No Sleep Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Two years ago The Wonder Years released their landmark sophomore album, The Upsides.  The album received such a positive spin that Hopeless Records reissued the disc with a few deserving b-sides less than 12 months later, and the buzz grew.  The Upsides became one of those rare generational statements, hooking fans and reviewers alike with its conversational style and approachable hooks.

Less than a year later and all eyes are back on The Wonder Years for their formal Hopeless Records debut, Suburbia: I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing.  As many reviewers have pointed out, the album title lifts its inspiration from Allen Ginsberg’s 1956 poem, “America.”  Now, if you’re like me and you’re not an English Literature major, then that really doesn’t mean anything in itself.  However, the reference serves as a great example of the Pennsylvania pop punkers’ ambitions, and is but a small part of what makes them tower over others in what often gets brushed aside as a shallow genre.

Suburbia takes everything that made The Upsides a success and fine tunes the formula without radically altering any major mechanics.  The band still meets listeners with raw honesty and introspection, but with greater confidence and compositional ability.  Dan “Soupy” Campbell subscribes to his same New Found Glory and Yellowcard brand of pop punk, without much of the wiry whine that risked alienating some listeners.  Combined, superior vocals and overall better song writing make for a marked improvement on an already solid foundation.

Listening to Suburbia is like sitting down and catching up with an old friend.  You can’t help but get excited to hear the stories you’ve missed since your last encounter.  Similarly, Suburbia serves as somewhat of an extension and update to many of encounters in The Upsides, returning to familiar locales and encountering recognizable faces.  I never had The Wonder Years “fever” like many succumbed to, so I didn’t catch on to too many of these moments, although I certainly caught the reference to Logan Circle in “Local Man Ruins Everything.”  Generally the album rewards the time you put into it without alienating new listeners.

Regardless of familiarity, listeners will find themselves won over by The Wonder Years’ incredibly truthful monologues.  “I guess you call this regression; I left a real job and a girlfriend” sings “soupy” on “Came Out Swinging,” continuing “I spent a whole year in airports… I lost track of time zones,” as he opens the album with a simply summary presumably inspired by the band’s own sacrifices. Suburbia raises eyebrows with line after line of playfully dramatic and engaging comparisons, developing into song after song of revealing confessions.  As seen on “Woke Up Older,” even the simple act of leaving comes with unique dramatics: “you left the room, receded like my hairline,” to which he adds “I aged a year this week,” as he reflects on the psychological strains of one’s social life.  Never one to be at a loss for resolution, they fire back on “Local Man Ruins Everything,” expunging any hint of hopelessness in the optimistic chorus “It’s not about forcing happiness; it’s about not letting sadness win.”  The band’s wisdom is deep, and their appeal universal.  Even the simplest act – like hitting up Denny’s for a Grand Slam during late night summer drives on “Summers in PA” – captures a relatable snapshot (who hasn’t been guilty of this before?) with all of its accompanying connotations.

Musically, Suburbia is every bit as approachable as its lyrics.  There’s a certain laid back feel to whole affair that’s a rare find these days.  In many ways The Wonder Years feel effortless, but at the same time coming across coolly calculated.  Tracks like “Suburbia” trot along at a mid-tempo pace, pulling off hooks with infectious melodies, while others like “I’ve Given You All” cool down and offer up a reflective acoustic atmosphere.

The only noticeable hiccup comes with a few less pronounced tracks, particularly the religious dismissive track, “I Won’t Say The Lord’s Prayer.”  The track preaches a message of wanting to take control of one’s life and living under your own identity instead of one prescribed.  There’s some strong imagery (like that of local churches), but the message feels dilute.

Generally speaking, Suburbia is an album that just works.  In many ways it is exemplary of what pop-punk can aspire to be without losing sight of its fun loving nature.  The songs are easy to listen to, with easy to digest scenarios.  In the span of a under two years The Wonder Years have matured into one of pop punk’s most capable.  Look for Suburbia: I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing on year-end lists everywhere.

The Wonder Years - Get Stoked On It!

The Wonder Years

Get Stoked On It!

No Sleep Records
By

Rating: 2/5

 
 

 

 

“Picture HelloGoodbye, Set Your Goals, Motion City Soundtrack, Saves The Day and New Found Glory getting Zolof The Rock and Roll Destroyer pregnant.” That’s how The Wonder Years‘ bio describes their music, and before I heard anything by them I was excited. I mean, I love New Found Glory and am rather found of most of the other bands listed, if they could pull it off, I would be stoked.

And stoked I was. Get Stoked On It! blasts through the starting gate with the energetic Keystoke State Dude Core sounding enough like Set Your Goals that I felt like I’d found a CD I could throw in and enjoy anytime. Just like they predicted, they uncompromisingly merged hardcore beats with pop-punk melodies with a dash of keyboards thrown in too like Patent Pending and Farewell. There’s a youthful vibe throughout propelled by the laughingly immature lyrics about the Kool-aid man, becoming astronauts, pirates going to the prom and “moshercising” and while they aren’t anything that will stick with you for a long time, the lyrics are still mindlessly entertaining. Vocally, they are a mix of Jordan Brown and Jordan Pudnik, leaning more towards the former than the latter and the occasional use of gang vocals help diversify the sound every once in a while too.

So I was sufficiently stoked as there was enough enjoyable aspects scattered throughout Get Stoked On It! to keep the record spinning for it’s full length. Yeah, some songs did sound frighteningly familiar to one another but it didn’t become overly annoying like on many releases and at the end of my first listen I enjoyed it. I clicked repeat to listen to it again, this time I wasn’t as stoked on it.

Nothing was really different – how could it be? It’s the exact same CD. However, I could never get into it again as much as I did that first listen. It’s just that little things started to bother me, most notably: the keyboards. They soon become oddly irritating and really affected my listening pleasure. Far too prominent, I soon noticed how much the keyboards were trying to invade the songs like When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong and Zombies Are The New Black and take them to a more digitalized sound. Too high pitched, the keyboards didn’t fit in with the either the hardcore elements or the pop-punk elements of their sound and I continually wished they would be taken out.

Soon after, the repetitiveness of the album also kicked in and the album became harder to listen to front to back. A few songs continually stuck out like Buzz Aldrin: The Poster Boy For Second Place, I Feel In Love With A Ninja Master and My Geraldine Lies Over The Delaware, but the others fell into the background and I no longer had the patience to sit through the record again.

Enough semblances to many bands that I continually enjoy make it nearly impossible for me to completely knock aside The Wonder Years, but I don’t see me listening to it much more in the future either. Maybe I just over played it, but as I sit typing this I’m just waiting for the record to end so I can put on a better release and I can’t help but think that I’d rather stick with Set Your Goals and Daggermouth if I want my fix of pop-core.

Neck Deep Put Finishing Touches To First Full-Length Album

NeckDeepUK Pop Punkers Neck Deep have put the finishing touches to their upcoming full-length album, which is due to be released through Hopeless Records in the near future, following the band signing to the label in August.

Whilst there has been no official release date set, a post on the band’s Facebook page read:

“Our album ‘Wishful Thinking’ is finished. Mixed, mastered and delivered to our lovely new mates at Hopeless Records. We would like to take a moment and thank Seb Barlow, Ben Humphreys at Outhouse Studios, Jordan Valeriote and Troy Glessner for their amazing work in producing, recording, mixing and mastering this album in its various stages. We couldn’t be happier with the results, and we are very very excited for you lot all to hear it.

We are working on a release timeline and some bundle ideas now, but there will be new music, a new video and album pre-orders online in the not too distant future, along with tour news as well. Bare with us folks – we promise it will be worth the wait.”

In the meantime, you can catch Neck Deep alongside fellow Pop Punk newbies Real Friends when they head out in support of The Wonder Years on their upcoming UK tour. Dates can be found below.

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Video: The Wonder Years – Passing Through A Screen Door

Wonder YearsThe Wonder Years has debuted a brand new music video.  The video features the track “Passing Through A Screen Door” which appears on their brand new album, The Greatest Generation, released in mid-May this year via Hopeless Records.

Watch the video here courtesy KROQ.

The Wonder Years – Passing Through A Screen Door: Video

Wonder YearsPop punk band The Wonder Years have released a video for their song Passing Through A Screen Door. The video was directed by Mitchell Wojcik and Samuel Gursky (who has worked on projects for the likes of Vampire Weekend and Fallout Boy). Vocalist Dan Campbell told Absolute Punk a bit about the lyrical inspiration for the song:

“I call the song an atypical love song, because that’s what it is to me. It touches on the idea of societal pressure dictating the way you should live your life. The wife, the kids, the house. I know that those are all things I want, but I don’t know when…and to be honest, I’m terrified of them. There’s so much that can go wrong. When you think about it, there’s so much responsibility. I don’t want to fuck up a kid’s life. Am I balanced enough, stable enough to help guide someone else through the world? Those are big ideas, they’re terrifying. I’m constantly running away from that.”

The Wonder Years are appearing on the 2013 Vans Warped Tour and you can check out the video for Passing Through A Screen Door here.

 

Video: The Wonder Years – The Bastards, The Vultures, The Wolves

TheWonderYearsThe Wonder Years has debuted a brand new music video.  The video features the track “The Bastards, The Vultures, The Wolves” which appears on their brand new album, The Greatest Generation, released in mid-May via Hopeless Records.

Watch the video here courtesy Fuse.

The Wonder Years – The Devil In My Bloodstream

TheWonderYearsThe Wonder Years has debuted a brand new song.  The track is titled “The Devil In My Bloodstream” and is set to appear on their upcoming new album, The Greatest Generation, due out May 14, 2013 via Hopeless Records.  The album follows their recent compilation, Sleeping on Trash: A Collection of Songs Recorded 2005-2010.  

Listen to the song here courtesy Under The Gun Review.