Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Banquets - S/T

When I listen to this band’s self-titled LP, I have a sweeping sense of nostalgia from my high school days.  Summers off.  Driving late at night with the music cranked to ten.  Singing the Ataris and MXPX at the top of my lungs with my friends.  My first bands I played in. 

They all center on a high energy, honest pop-punk that is lost in today’s market.  The old mainstays like Greenday and Blink-182 are shells of their former selves, and the Ataris last album was so self-serious and dark that it bordered on depressing. 

Thank God a band like Banquets exists.  They are pop-punk to the core, and yet I hate all modern pop-punk.  What is it about them that’s sets them apart?  They have catchy hooks and quick-tempo guitar chord driven rock.  The drums stay persistently driving with the obligatory well-done pop-rock drumming.  You know what I’m talking about.  (Bass bass snare, bass bass snare, bass bass snare…)

It’s all done wonderfully, and never comes off as juvenile like some bands do.  These are mature song-writers.  With relatable lines like “My parents gave me everything; I paid for it with the fear of God,” the vocalist really sets this band at a different level.  His lyrics are amazing, and his vocal passion is present throughout the album. 

He’s got just enough edge to keep the band grounded in punk side of the spectrum.  They never wander so far into the pop area that they lose sight of the energy and passion that makes punk what it is. 

Listening to this album is almost joyous for me, as the infections hooks and nice guitar riffs take me back to a time when things were simpler.  This isn’t to say that this album is simplistic.  That’s not true.  It’s a well-executed and intelligent venture into a category of music that has “jumped the shark” for me. 

Without a doubt, this album is a must own for fans of this genre of music.  It will leave you smiling… and also thinking.  It’s a winning combination. 

--The Professor

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