The Traditional

How To Live Without Blood

Written by: PP on 08/03/2015 19:33:38

First we had Real Friends emulating the beloved sound of The Wonder Years virtually note-by-note, but we've seen others too source inspiration from arguably the most important band in the genre this decade. On debut album "How To Live Without Blood", Buffalo-based pop punkers The Traditional basically have the same idea as Real Friends throughout the record. Led by a similarly angst-driven vocalist spouting emotionally-charged realist pop punk lyrics, the band's approach to the genre is equally intellectual and driven by great composition as opposed to sugarcoated choruses and bouncy riffage. Whether you like it or not will largely depend on your opinion regarding The Wonder Years though, given how closely The Traditional follow their pioneering emotional pop punk style.

Opener "Skeletons" might seduce you into thinking the band are going for a more aggressive twist on the genre given its distorted screams that feel similar to what Such Gold produced on their early EPs. But already on song two, the title track, the band are neck deep in The Wonder Years territory. Mid-tempo instrumentation helps accentuate the passionate melancholic croons that act as te centerpiece of the record, and the song is relatively catchy in the process. "My Brother Is The Sea" and especially "Marilyn" are even more infectious, however, with the latter also bringing in gang backing vocals at key moments of the song. Here, the guitars take an angular approach and add that melancholically ringing emo-tone to the distortion, which The Wonder Years have so well capitalized on over the years. Still, the best song on the album is "Do You Miss Me Yet?", whose impassioned vocals repeating the same, desperate line of "Do you miss me yet" should land right at home for fans of this genre. "So tell me how you feel about misery?", the song asks before exploding into a classic emotional pop punk moment with all the flair and dramatic soundscapes that go with it. It's arguably the song that could launch The Traditional into the radar of realist pop punk followers enthusiastic to find their temporary fix prior to the next Wonder Years album.

And therein lies the primary weakness of "How To Live Without Blood". It feels so...temporary. It's too similar to The Wonder Years without adding its own identity into the process, and let's be honest here, the songs aren't quite as memorable either. Halfway through the record many tracks begin to blend together and lack the poetic lyricism or the ultra catchy instrumentation required to make them stick. That said, they're by no means bad songs and decent is the minimum starting point for each of them. The record needs more great songs before it'll reach end-of-year lists, though.


Download: Do You Miss Me Yet?, My Brother Is The Sea, Marilyn
For the fans of: The Wonder Years, Real Friends
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.01.2015
Anchor Eighty-Four Records

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