Rock & Roll In America

Written by: PP on 17/10/2015 17:39:58

Boston-based Rebuilder should go down well for most FEST attending people. Their debut album "Rock & Roll In America" channels two archetypical US punk rock realms in one, balancing the polished, yet fast-paced pop punk of the likes of Mxpx against the more ambitious and emo-laced approach taken by realist pop punks The Wonder Years. Add on top a healthy cherish of The Hold Steady-like organs/keyboards on the background, and the resulting expression is an intriguing middle point between many different influences within the punk rock scene.

Take opener "The National Bohemian", for instance, which takes you straight into early 2000s-era Mxpx with its polished, yet high-energy pop punk approach. It's catchy and upbeat but contains enough production to iron out the raw edge that many other modern pop punk bands swear by these days. When you compare it to for example "Le Grand Fromage", you're in an entirely different world. Here, the emotionally-charged, slightly whiny singing style of The Wonder Years takes over together with a more nostalgia-driven and melodramatic atmosphere overall.

Throughout the record, it's almost as if the two styles battle it out. "Adults" is once again reliant on the late 90s / early 2000s style pop punk, whereas "When I Grow Up" is eerily reminiscent of "Suburbia I've Given You All But Now I'm Nothing", much like the closing song "American Dread" which is as ambitious and forward-thinking in pop punk realm as The Wonder Years. So which one of the styles comes out triumphant?

Based on "Rock & Roll In America" as a whole, the Mxpx-esque songs which are more 90s slash skate punk oriented pop punk are better than the attempts at cloning The Wonder Years' pioneering soundscape. They are easier to get into and feel more catchy. But more worrying is the fact that overall the record comes across as sounding quite derivative of two different styles. Many decent songs, but something's lacking that inevitably makes you rank the album as an honorable attempt of interpreting two very successful sounds together, but which comes out quite derivative in the end.

Download: The National Bohemian, Adults, American Dread, Le Grand Fromage
For the fans of: Mxpx, The Wonder Years
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.06.2015
Panic State Records

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