Punknews.org
Only Way Back - A Voice to Speak (Cover Artwork)

Only Way Back

Only Way Back: A Voice to SpeakA Voice to Speak (2008)
self-released

Reviewer Rating: 2.5


Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Only Way Back's approach to pop-punk is a homage to the early 2000s, when bands like Bowling for Soup (pre-"1985"), Homegrown and Slick Shoes were riding on the coattails of Epitaph skatepunk and vastly overshadowed by the blossoming mainstream success of Blink-182, New Found Glory and even Sum 41. .


Only Way Back's approach to pop-punk is a homage to the early 2000s, when bands like Bowling for Soup (pre-"1985"), Homegrown and Slick Shoes were riding on the coattails of Epitaph skatepunk and vastly overshadowed by the blossoming mainstream success of Blink-182, New Found Glory and even Sum 41. I got into punk music around this time (2002-2003), so, admittedly, Only Way Back's A Voice to Speak hits a personal bias and truly deserving of some nostalgia points.

Unfortunately with their influence's predestined dependency on predictability and clichés, Only Way Back's sound is slightly redundant and beckons some déjà vu; from the Blink-182-"Carousel"-esque guitar break in the aptly titled "Song #1" to the token acoustic strummed intro of "Pushed Away," everything just reminds me of a subpar attempt at another band's style. And, which I will deny is any coincidence, the vocalist even has a ballsier tone much like Bigwig -- not only do they thank them in the liner notes, but Tom Petta is featured as a guest on the song "The Congregation." Really, with some banal riffs and amateurish tendencies, there's very little originality going on here.

That's not to say that lacking in originality is at all a bad thing. The 14 tracks are energetic and easy to sing along to. "The Congregation" has some nice "oh"s and "ah"s layering and the guitar is tight and crunchy. "These Walls" and "Left Behind" offer some dynamics with its clean, smoothly executed picking with the vocalist displaying a good range, and knowing when to raise his volume at all the climactic parts.

Simplicity and unoriginality is often what's most endearing about these kinds of bands and it makes for a fun but safe listen. So take my soft spot for what it is, but if you're comforted by the friendly feeling of familiarity, A Voice to Speak may offer some solid and catchy tunes to your summer rotation.

 


Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Kurasuke (June 24, 2009)

Song #1 is not a fuck you song.

mikexdude (June 23, 2009)

That comment was also by me, mikexdude, not waitingroom.

waitingroom (June 23, 2009)

Mike thinks Matt needs a punch in the face by me... in the pit.

mattramone (June 23, 2009)

Mike thinks this album needs some more breakdowns and lyrics about pit dancing.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


The Fest 13

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go