The late-’90s, early-2000s punk-fan hierarchy is as follows:
A. Individuals who overtly preferred pop-punk bands. They owned Inexperienced Day’s Dookie and proudly listened to it on their Walkmans regardless of any verbal abuse heaped upon them.
B. Individuals who have been extra into hardcore and professed to hate pop-punk bands however secretly owned Dookie and listened to it at house.
C. Individuals in twenty-hole Doc Martens and mohawks who stated issues like “Useless Kennedys are too industrial,” or “I solely hearken to a punk band that performed one present in a basement in Milwaukee in 1983 that nobody attended, not even the band.”
For the report, the folks in class C have been stuffed with shit and likewise owned Dookie. It offered ten million copies. Individuals have been shopping for that report, even when they wouldn’t admit it. In summation, pop punk may not convey the anti-social fury of FEAR destroying the stage at Saturday Night time Reside in 1981, however that’s okay. It’s not that sort of music, however carried out correctly, it’s simply as a lot enjoyable.
Working example: Neighborhood Locker, the debut full-length from The Mazlows. The Lakewood-born quartet brings fourteen tracks of energetic pop punk that by no means strays too far into the pressing, frenetic tempo of hardcore, however as a substitute remembers all these songs that graced — some may say plagued — the soundtracks of youngster comedies circa 2002.
Neighborhood Locker owes a few of its sound to a sort of music that undoubtedly peaked twenty years in the past. However it’s a style we will look again upon fondly. By way of listenable radio hits, pop punk was the one obtainable possibility throughout an period soaked with the soulless demon sweat of rap metallic.
The themes on Neighborhood Locker are acquainted: ladies, love, longing to go away your property city, late nights and that feeling of youth starting to fade away. The hovering guitar leads are current together with the palm-muted rhythm guitar, mildly snotty vocals and wild man drumming. It is probably not the hardest-sounding report within the punk realm, however tracks like “We’re Not Useless But” wouldn’t sound misplaced on a late-’90s Fats Wreck Chords compilation. The tune is harking back to Large Alternative-era Face to Face. It’s the only punk banger (“Head First” will get fairly shut) on a report of mid-tempo anthems.
The Mazlows — the members are throughout thirty years outdated — mess around with the push and pull between youth and maturity, at all times to good impact. “Echoes” comes from the attitude of an grownup who feels lied to about maturity by the adults who got here earlier than him. It looks as if no accident that it’s adopted by “Thrown Away,” which recounts youthful missteps and their unintended penalties. “Nightcaps and Goodbyes” is an ode to saucy late nights and an unnamed important different.
That’s to not say that the band is simply regurgitating an already carried out sound. Whereas there may be echoes of bands like Blink-182, the Mazlows increase upon pop punk as a style whereas additionally paying tribute to their forbears. A parallel exists in hip-hop producer El-P, who manages to look to the longer term whereas additionally evoking the spirit of traditional ’90s boom-bap beats and sampling ’80s post-punk bands like Gang of 4 or Wall of Voodoo.
Neighborhood Locker’s opening monitor, “Greatest Days,” pulls a listener in with a swell of synthesizers whereas the guitar development evokes Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309,” a catchy tune sadly misplaced in a sea of dangerous ’80s compilations. The Mazlows revisit that vibe within the intro of “Final Name” with one other thick pile of soothing synthesizers that seems like falling slowly from area however probably not minding. “Breakfast Epiphanies” begins off as a bizarre, slowed-down moody tone shift in an in any other case upbeat album. For anybody who’s ever contemplated why a pancake seems to be smiling, the tune may supply solutions, or on the very least some solace. The unhappy, haunting guitar lick on the opening of “Without end And” owes extra to ’90s various than punk, and the tune as a complete smacks of unhappy, subdued Crimson Sizzling Chili Peppers.
Although it nods to the previous, Neighborhood Locker by no means feels warmed over, and the songs are constructed properly sufficient to warrant repeat listens by anybody in search of the refined particulars she or he might need missed the primary time round. That’s normally the mark of a very good report, and is unquestionably the case right here.