Rust Belt Lights

Religion & My Ex

Written by: PP on 13/03/2014 23:51:58

Remember those angsty, emo-tuned pop punk tunes on Junior Battles' "Idle Ages" a couple of years ago? Here's basically their punk rock equivalent in Rust Belt Lights, who have reached their sophomore album with "Religion & My Ex", and alongside it quite a bit of buzz in the scene thanks to a hard work ethic in terms of touring and delivering easily sing alongable tunes that zigzag between pop punk and Midwestern punk rock for the most part.

"Religion & My Ex" basically sources from the emotionally charged punk bands like Peace Mercutio and Pentimento, while merging it together with Living With Lions style upbeat pop punk. The emo tone is very melancholic on occasion, such as on "Stay Young Or Try Dying", where the band sings:

"And we've got so much left to live for, something to believe. To be as honest as I can be, we haven't changed that much since when we were sixteen. When everybody told us there was only one way, and all we've done since then is prove them wrong."

...if that reminds you a lot of Junior Battles, you're absolutely right. "How To Live Without" is another highlight, with its highly relatable lyrics "They say the best thing about photographs is that they never change...even when people in them stop returning phone calls after certain years, the picture's worth a thousand bad clichés. Too tired to push the past away, your picture is only worth one sentence; life goes on without me". Basically, emotionally charged punk rock to the letter. Elsewhere, the band go for a more straight-forward, breakneck speed pop punk approach ("Parkside" comes to mind), which is fine by me since I love this sort of material.

Objectively speaking, however, they should concentrate on the emotionally charged material as the primer, because this is where they are far better than at playing high-speed punk rock. Sure, they want to be a punk band and that's what they've been for three albums now by all counts. But they've never stricken a similar success in this style as some of their more exciting genre counterparts. Instead, the emotionally charged pieces here are what make Rust Belt Lights stand out, the rest is too anonymous as it stands right now. As a fan, I'd wish for them to go all out Pentimento style into emotionally charged punk rock, slow down the tempos, and really show what it means to hurt through also their expression, not just their lyrics.

Download: Wasted Wishing, How To Live Without, Stay Young Or Try Dying
For the fans of: Living With Lions, Junior Battles, Peace Mercutio, Pentimento
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.02.2014
Adeline Records

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