Iím almost 20, and I still absolutely love pop-punk as if I were still 14. I donít care, Iíll say it, Iíll admit it. I realize the immature and musically basic stigma that the music carries, and again -- I donít give a fuck. The Ataris, New Found Glory, Sum 41, all have an uncanny knack for writing killer pop-punk tunes. Simple and fun, thatís all I ask.
Where pop-punk gets into troublesome territory, is when it tries to be too much. I donít want to hear horrible screaming amidst multi-part harmonies about failed high school romances. Save that crap for the next Senses Fail record.
This is where Patent Pending run into trouble. At the base, they do what all good pop-punk bands should -- write catchy songs. Theyíll make you bob your head, tap your foot, and remember that time in 5th period lunch that Ashley spilled her chocolate milk on Bobby because he took Holly to the Winter Dance. Oh man was that a riot. Point is, pop-punk recalls innocence. A time where you didnít demand much from the musicians you loved, and thatís just what I want to hear, despite my age.
ďLos Angeles,Ē the fiery opening track, has an absolutely infectious rhythm and vocals to match, the band's vocalist having a delivery sounding tailor made for this type of music, and his relentless energy really helps to sell a good number of these songs. But as I mentioned before, the band does run into problems with the screaming vocals. Lightly sprinkled in the background throughout the song's duration, they finally come to the forefront at the end of the track, acting in a counterproductive manner to the playful sound that had been established thus far. A recurring issue, it also effects the otherwise solid ďDemo for DanaĒ and ďDecemberween,Ē among others. But itís listening to a song like ďLights Out in MississippiĒ that makes it the clearest what could be if the aggressive vocals were dropped from these songs altogether. They feel more fun, more pure, and in this genre, that makes all the difference.
The rest of the record is a real hit or miss as to what songs are bogged down by the inclusion of the poorly delivered screaming, and what songs are just solid pop-punk jams. Because of this back and forth, it also becomes difficult to retain a solid ebb and flow. Two good songs, one bad, one good, three bad, itís like an unwelcome musical grab bag. The last strike against it, is that itís 45 minutes long, and while that doesnít seem to be anything extenuating, thatís still a lot of time for this type of music.
Records like this or not, Iíll continue to love pop-punk, hopefully for years to come. Itís just fun, honest music that makes these warm summer nights just that much better. Now, if youíll excuse me, I have a drive to make, and a Blink-182 record to listen to.