The Penske File

Salvation

Written by: PP on 03/09/2018 22:00:36

"Yeaaaahhhhhhh", screams vocalist Travis Miles to open the third album "Salvation" by the Burlington, Canada-based The Penske File, and you know instantly it's gonna be a great listen. Few records open with as heartfelt passion, and usually that sort of emotion can only be drawn from the inherent confidence of knowing you've written a great bunch of tunes. Indeed, "Salvation" does not disappoint, delivering an anthemic, upbeat expression that charms its listener from the get-go, which is also why it's been one of the most talked about records in the indie-flavored emo/punk scene this year.

The Penske File offer yet another twist at the modern 'troubadour punk' soundscape championed by the likes of The Menzingers, The Smith Street Band, and Modern Baseball. It's a similar indie-fueled punk format with huge sing-alongs and light melodies, but with added inspiration from the great American song-school of songwriters, particularly Bruce Springsteen and The Gaslight Anthem, but also the likes of American Steel and others with a more punk-oriented background. The resulting soundscape is one that's buzzing with energy, cheerful sing-alongs, and clean, playful guitar melodies that together form an earnest vibe, an honest, down-to-earth expression that gives the record its charming feel. When at the same time the band is capable of churning out chant-out-loud anthems like "Spin My History" at frightening consistency, well, you have a fantastic record in your hands.

From the driving pop punk of "Kamikaze Kids" through the alternative rock-fueled "Lakeshore" (that echoes some lighter post-hardcore/emo bands of yesteryear with hints of older Hawthorne Heights, Senses Fail and the like), the record is catchy and hook-laden, full of enjoyable sing-alongs and simple, but darn effective passages where the band toy with harmonica occasionally to add some of that Midwestern chill-factor to their songs. It has a sense of familiarity, sure, and plenty of parallels and references to all the bands mentioned in this review and then some, but it's original and unassuming enough to stand out on its own feet rather than just sounding derivative like some others playing this style are starting to do. Or maybe I just can't get enough of the troubadour punk bands these days, who knows. Either way, "Salvation" is a great record that should put The Penske File on your radar. Expect them to grow exponentially in the near future.

8

Download: Kamikaze Kids, Spin My History, Golden Futures, Lakeshore
For the fans of: The Smith Street Band, The Menzingers, Spanish Love Songs, Modern Baseball, The Gaslight Anthem
Listen: Facebook

Release date 06.04.2018
Stomp Records

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