Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Written by: PP on 02/11/2010 02:48:34

Here's a band I checked out solely because I thought their name was pretty cool on the grounds that other bands I know who are named after specific places tend to fall into the spectrum of music that I find enjoyable. That's also the case with Washington Square Park and their self-titled album, but pigeonholeing them into just one genre isn't quite that easy. That they're named after a Get Up Kids song might tell you a part of the story, but once you pop in the record for the first time, you quickly realize that you're on a journey through a sound that's referencing bands from an extremely wide frame of reference. On "Ladders" their vocalist does his best to sound like early Glassjaw-era Daryl Palumbo, launching in manic distorted screaming while the band plays with groovy and clean post-hardcore on the background. Straight after the band jumps into light pop punk with a progressive vibe in the vein of Boys Night Out on "Trainwreck", and one track before we were right in the middle of Crime In Stereo realm from "I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone". Now you get why it's so difficult to point a finger towards just one specific genre when talking about this album.

In a way, "Washington Square Park" represents a perfect amalgamation of post-hardcore and pop punk. Not in the commercialized, über-poppy way of A Day To Remember (though "No Medication" certainly has ADTR-symptoms in it, as good of a song as it may be), but in a more honest, down-to-earth way that's more concerned about longevity than the instantly catchy. More than a couple of songs are growers, especially the darker pieces like "Center Of My World", where the band belies their poppy groundwork by toying with a gloomy/bright dynamic to achieve a particularly emotive sound. Fans of Boys Night Out will know exactly what I mean, as this record is as full of heartfelt moments of pain as it is with aggressive sections of rage and semi-controlled chaos. It's an album where the light sounds of pop punk meet the heavier and more complex elements of post-hardcore in a symbiosis: the latter gains from the accessibility of the former, and the former can be taken more seriously as a result of the latter. It works so well on the tracks that I've mentioned that I'm wondering how come someone hasn't picked these guys up yet, a track like "Believing" is simply fantastic! But as it is often with underground bands, some refining needs to be done as not all songs are mammoth-like just yet, even if the band does have 99% rating by users on AP.net. But in principle, they are heading into the right direction as they have a very interesting sound that's not quite like anyone else.

Download: Believing, No Medication, Ladders
For the fans of: Boys Night Out, Crime In Stereo, Glassjaw, Brand New
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.06.2010

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