The Wonder Years

Won\'t Be Pathetic Forever EP

Written by: PP on 10/05/2008 14:25:36

It\'s no secret that a large proportion of staff at our magazine are fanatics of The Wonder Years - all you have to do is to have a quick look at our shot at top 20 albums of last year and see how \"Get Stoked On It!\" was overwhelmingly voted as the #1 album of the year. The reason for that was simple: for a couple of years, the music scene had been missing a band who knows how to write some of catchiest songs you\'ll come across, while keeping a tongue-in-cheek attitude on at all times. How many pop punk bands sing about pirates and ninjas and managed to have you singing along from the top of your lungs? The Wonder Years do. Only just over seven months since the release of one of my favorite pop punk albums of all time, the band is already ready with a new EP, \"Won\'t Be Pathetic Forever\". Though this time the guys aren\'t singing about astronauts and Captain Crunch, but more serious stuff.

The EP consists of four songs, the first one of which is an instrumental song meant to get you pumped up for the rest of the EP. This is done through the use of the band\'s trademark buzzing guitars, infectious riffs, breakdowns, and the Motion City Soundtrack-esque keyboard sounds. The moment the band sets off to the speedy \"Solo & Chewy: Holdin\' It Down\", you know the band is up where they\'ve always been - playing some of the best hardcore influenced pop punk you\'ll come across. The first thing you notice is how the production has significantly improved - they no longer have that raw, lo-fi sound to the guitars that got us so stoked on the previous album.

Even though the lyrics have turned serious, they are still laughable, as long as you can laugh at the lives of small-town Americans. The title track from the EP is a story about a guy who wakes up at noon everyday, watches boring TV, and waits for his girlfriend to come home soon before he goes to a house party later. The second half of the song sees the band change direction slightly, as a slower tempo comes in to support the huge gang shouts \"I FUCKIN\' HATE THIS TOWN, I FUCKIN\' LOVE THIS TOWN\", a colorful commentary on how most small-town Americans feel about their home town - it\'s so small they wanna get away, but yet they really love the place at the same time. The song finishes with a touching lyric about the issue: \"lately I\'ve been thinking about being a doctor, or a teacher, just someone who changes something.. someone who changes something..\". The song ending also sounds darker than anything they\'ve written to date, drawing close parallels to Boys Night Out in places.

As a direct contrast to the saddening ending of that song, \"You\'re Not Salinger. Get Over It\" sounds like the band just hit an empty no-limits motorway on a bright summer day. The tempo is perhaps the fastest one we\'ve heard from the band to date, and it is also easily one the best The Wonder Years song we\'ve heard to date, with an awe-inspiring riff/keyboard race leading the song in several places. Try walking outside in the sunshine and popping that song on - you\'ll be moving around in psychotic air-guitar/finger-tapping movements in no time.

Otherwise, the sound hasn\'t changed at all. There are still breakdowns, fast drum bits, singalongable choruses, dual vocals, gang vocals, and everything else you loved about \"Get Stoked On It!\". The only negative aspect about the EP is that it\'s way too short. With only three songs and 11 minutes worth of \"real\" material, it makes you crave for more, especially after the Salinger song is the one closing the record. Plus, you do miss the worry-free, hilarious lyrics of the debut album a little bit, too.

In other words, the band is still as good as they always were, except they now sound like a professional band singing about more serious topics, and that can only be a good thing, right? While the raw sound had its advantages, it\'s a no-brainer that when the guitars sound better, wide-spread success is ever closer to the band now. If you still aren\'t convinced, a quick listen to the lead riff of \"You\'re Not Salinger...\" should assure you otherwise. If not, you might wanna get your ears checked. I\'m stoked on this release.


Download: You\'re Not Salinger. Get Over It
For the fans of: Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, Boys Night Out, Motion City Soundtrack
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.06.2008
No Sleep Records

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