Tuning OutHidden Home Records
By AJ Phink
Hidden Home Records released Wicked Bears sophomore album, Tuning Out, on October 13th, the band’s latest full length follows on from last year’s self titled release, and once more the Utah pop punk quartet are doing what they do best, producing energetic and fun punk rock that has the charm that you’d expect from pop punk, but they do it with all the rough edges intact with the punk element firmly at the forefront of their sound. The end result is that Tuning Out is one of the best pop punk albums I’ve heard in the last few years, and further evidence that Hidden Home Records is one of best grass roots labels out there.
The album starts in 2049, an energetic two and a half minutes of frenetic pop punk with all the harmony choruses and enthusiasm you could wish for, the album’s title track carries the bounce of early Green Day and Bowling For Soup, whereas No Vacancy channels Nerf Herder and Blink-182, and on it goes, each track carries the hallmarks of pop punk, but at the same time managing to sound fresh and energetic. More importantly it carries the other element that made pop punk so popular, whilst some of the tracks make valid social points this is an album that is fun and has a sense of humour, something that has sadly been forgotten by a lot of the recent pop punk releases.
There seem to be two approaches to creating a pop punk album, to take it and try to blend it’s trademark elements with other styles and make it your own, or to do just do it well and carry the energy and enthusiasm that made pop punk such a worldwide phenomenon, Wicked Bears are very much in the latter camp. They take all the best elements from those that came before them and blend them to create a gloriously anthemic and upbeat album. If you thought pop punk had nothing left in the tank Wicked Bears are living and breathing proof that this is a scene that is still alive and kicking.
Tuning Out can be ordered on CD and cassette via Hidden Home Records here
You can stream and download Tuning Out via Bandcamp here
Wicked Bears Facebook page can be found here