The New Varsity

Running Out of Time

Written by: LF on 18/11/2013 16:12:40

The New Varsity is a pop punk band from Claremont, CA and according to their Facebook page they are a band that strives to carry on the torch once held by the likes of Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New etc. Since that sounds pretty good to me I have decided to check out their second album "Running Out of Time" and so the big question to be answered here is whether or not The New Varsity can live up to those comparison.

As it turns out "Running Out of Time" is an incredibly strong album especially in terms of song composition. Even though the very cliché pop punk sound should make me lose my interest halfway this doesn't happen. I suspect it is partly because every moment of the record is filled with little details like chimes, filler riffs and little extra melody bits that makes this album a veritable ecstatic pop punk party that never lets the listener get bored. As such first track "Hangovers and Morning Afters" is the perfect party starter with a hook that's been the first thing in my head every morning for a week now and that sets the standard for the plethora of catchy melodies that are to follow. "I Can't See You Anymore", "Silver Lining" and "Not What You Thought I'd Be" are the stronger songs, especially the latter as it brings a welcome contrast to the party with its darker attitude and pretty chimes that really make me think of Christmas (but maybe that's just because December is so close).

If you really hate clichés though I'll advise you to approach this album with caution. A look at the lyrics will maybe help to underline this. On "Silver Lining" we get: "I'll be fine / I swear to God that I mean it this time", on "So This Is Rock Bottom" we have: "So I'm gonna raise my glass to those kids / The ones that knew that life is all about taking chances", and "Claremont's Finest" sports this chorus: "I know that you're looking for someone to save you / Save you from this life before it breaks you / And I'll drive the ambulance tonight" . Furthermore, even though I said there's isn't a boring moment on this record I suspect that might not last forever and I do get the feeling that some of the songs on the album could really benefit from maybe cutting an extra chorus here and there as only four of the songs are under four minutes long and for an up-tempo pop punk LP that strikes me as a little much.

As such the album is played very safe as it draws on a bunch of cliché sounds and themes and treats them in a way that doesn't really evolve into anything particularly new. This is all fine if The New Varsity really just wishes to re-create the sound of the older bands listed in the beginning but to play in the same leagues as them they need to work to cut out a sound of their own.

Download: Not What You Thought I'd Be, Hangovers and Morning Afters, I Can't See You Anymore, Silver Lining
For The Fans Of: New Found Glory, All Time Low, Taking Back Sunday, older Fall Out Boy

Release Date 15.10.2013

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