The Long Shore Drive - My Life Without You (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Long Shore Drive

My Life Without You (2011)


They may have been gimmicks but I really enjoyed Marvel Comics' What If?title. For those not in the know, What If? consisted of stories that posited hypothetical situations that existed outside regular Marvel continuity but used its characters and locations. Each issue was a fun experiment but given their wacky nature they weren't always successful.My Life Without You by Philadelphia, Pa's the Long Shore Drive is a little like an issue of What If? because it sounds kind of like what might have happened if Tom DeLonge had sang for Brand New on Your Favorite Weapon.

Call me crazy but I think it is a pretty risky and difficult task to try to wedge lyrics about taking a crap into a song, especially a somewhat serious song, and make it sound natural. On "Plenty Of Friends," the Long Shore Drive do just this and frankly it makes for a pretty awkward listening experience. After a fiasco like that I was hesitant to even listen to the rest of the album. Thankfully, they shy away from the scatological elsewhere, but there is a faint hint of dookie over the whole thing. Unlike Your Favorite Weapon, which was juvenile but contained some pretty memorable lyrics, most of the lyrics on My Life Without You are childish clichés. To be fair the band doesn't claim Brand New as an influence, in fact on their Facebook page the only influence they claim is "the local scene." It could be the case that they are completely ignorant of the band but I'd wager that early '00s New Jersey pop-punk had a huge influence on what ever scene they belong to in Philly.

While it would be a stretch to call the Long Shore Drive a popcore band, as they lack any real hardcore riffs or double bass drumming or breakdowns that typify the genre, they do employ the hardcore gang vocal pretty often on this EP. To be quite honest it sounds pretty silly almost every time they use it. The other ways they use support vocals, like the echo in the verse and closing chant on "I Thought Hurricane Season Was Over...(This Is All I Am)" are actually well done. They should really keep the focus on harmonization rather than getting all their bros to come in and yell over a very poppy song.

Even if you happened to be obsessed with an early '00s pop-punk aesthetic there isn't a whole lot to get excited about here. My Life Without You is competent enough and has flashes of something more for what appears to be a debut release so I wouldn't write the band off completely just yet.