With a million and one pop punk band’s putting out releases at the moment, this week we look at four albums, from different corners of the pop-punk world. We’ve got the duel vocal male / female sugary pop punk from We Are The In Crowd, the ‘back in the day’ 90′s type pop punk of Samiam, the upbeat, glossy modern sounds of This Time Next Year, and the gritty, fast no frills pop-punk of Cobra Skulls. All great albums, all out now or just about to be released. See below for a read on what’s being served up at the moment.
WE ARE THE IN CROWD - Best Intentions (Hopeless Records) [Pre-Order Online] Available 7th October
This young outfit showed promise on their EP, now it’s time to see what they’ve got on a debut full length. Fans will be happy to know this one is an infectious affair. Great use of duel male / female vocals should see the Paramore comparisons become less frequent and plant them more into a little pop punk pigeonhole of their own. For a debut album they’ve done a great job and managed to hold my attention right throughout. There were a few moments that upon first listen were a little cringeworthy and thought could’ve been done without, but after reminding myself I’m well outside their target audience in years, I managed to put up with them, and now, with a bunch more listens clocked up, I hardly even notice those moments. With a band like this you know what you are going to get, it’s nothing groundbreaking, and for the most part it’s been done before, so props to them for being able to put their own stamp on it and deliver a memorable album that stands out from the quickly populating pack. Good fun this one.
THIS TIME NEXT YEAR - Drop Out Of Life (3Wise / Sony) [Buy Online Here] Available Now
I hadn’t heard of these guys until this one hit my desk. It’s their second album, and they’ve taken their name from a Movielife album, that’s a good start I guess. Catchy pop-punk is their game, and they play it pretty well indeed. Well enough to stand out from a lot of other bands playing a similar sound. It’s part Yellowcard, part New Found Glory I guess if you are looking for a comparison point. The album flows quite well, production is spot on for the sound, and the songwriting is solid. Again, you’ve heard it all before, but when it’s this catchy, you don’t mind hearing it again. Don’t think I’ll be wearing it out, but I’ll certainly be coming back for an occasional listen. There’s probably only a handful of current pop punk bands in this style I can bare these days, this mob have made the cut and are in that handful. Well worth checking out if you don’t mind a little bouncing on the spot and singalongs.
SAMIAM - Trips (HopelessRecords) [Buy Online Here] Available now on CD & Vinyl
They’ve been around for ages, had more lineup changes than most and know how to pump out a great tune. This album, their 8th, is a pretty diverse affair, you’ve got your poppy punk, melodic rock and even a tinge of classic rock for good measure. But best of all, it takes no more than 10 seconds to know you are in a Samiam record after you press play. It’s been a while between albums (again) but this time the band seems to be more energized, fresh and back on target for the band. If you are one who doesn’t mind taking a trip back to the late 90′s when these guys were setting the benchmark, then this will excite you to know the band is back in top form. If it’s your first Samiam experience, then enjoy it, it’s a great starting point to a classic back catalogue. One of the must have albums of this year.
COBRA SKULLS - Agitations (Fat Wreck Chords) Available early October
Fast becoming a favourite is this band, their last EP was as impressive as they come and they’ve turned it up another notch with this album. If you like your punk rock fast and catchy with a nice blend of old and new then add these guys to your radar if they are not already. Instantly likeable, quickly memorable this one has you feeling like you are at the show jumping around, if they’ve got this much energy on record, can only imagine how much fun a live show would be. A solid album from start to finish you won’t find any dull moments with this one. Will be adding to the ‘let’s hope they tour in 2012′ list, and playing this one a lot more in times to come. Get on board, it’s as fun as they come these days.