|The Wonder Years - 'Suburbia I've Given You All And Now I'm Nothing' (Hopeless Records)|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Wednesday, 21 September 2011 05:00|
Inspired by Allen Ginsberg's 1956 poem "America", this release is an introspective, heartfelt and honest journey that tells the story of a growing culture of people in America trying to find their place in the world without compromising the beliefs that made them who they are..........
And coming out swinging is opener 'Came Out Swinging' is pop punk played at the upper echelons of that genre, while 'Woke Up Older' has some stand out drumming from Michael Kennedy that'd probably shine large in the live arena, topped off by some accomplished vocals from the lungs of Daniel Campbell. Fuzzy, screeching guitars that only really evolves out into a run of the mill song, running in at just 52 seconds, 'Suburbia' promises much but, at such a shortened timescale, isn't given enough space for growth. 'My Life As A Pigeon' - fifth track in and I'm still awaiting the killer hooks that usually flow strongly from any esteemed pop-punk outfit and, although I'm slightly disappointed thus far having expected and hoped for more, it remains well above average for this type of opus.
Guest vocals crop up from a few of the guys in Four Year Strong on 'Summers In PA'; again, passable material but only up to a certain level that'll remain in my personal thoughts. 'I Won't Say The Lords Prayer' is one of those tracks that will appeal to your average pop-punk teen-angst influenced youths of today but it's hard to see this being welcomed by the wider mass musical audience. 'Coffee Eyes' seems to just blend away, too many album fillers here and not enough musical selling points to take these guys beyond their current status.
An acoustic guitar dominates 'I've Given You All', a nice, simple piece that has something but, just as you anticipate the big chorus and hooks, the tune ends. 'Don't Let Me Cave In' proves that there's no doubting the musicianship within, and also a decent production courtesy of Steve Evetts, but the positives aren't hitting me at all. As I reach track eleven the tracks are becoming unblendable and as much as I try I'm failing to promote this product the way I'd been initially confident of. 'Hoodie Weather' yet once more calls for an injection of genius songwriting involvement while 'And Now I'm Nothing' builds towards that little bit of perfection, not, though, quite having that extra pull.
The Wonder Years; behind them....or in front???