Not On Tour - Growing Pains (Cover Artwork)

Not On Tour

Growing Pains (2019)


Growing Pains, the fourth studio LP from Israeli punks Not On Tour, is pretty overwhelming. But that’s a good thing. It’s difficult to classify this album. It is a bit of an anomaly and somewhat of a contradiction. The vocals are both gritty and poppy. The guitars are prominent, but elusive. The bass lines are both simple and complicated. And the drums are aggressive, yet subtle. As a result, the band churns out a complexing 23 minutes of skate-punk, hardcore, and pop-punk (among other subgenres).

I’m typically turned off by albums that have more than 12 songs. This record has 17! But then I saw that none of the songs cross the 2-minute mark, which sparked my interest again. Prior to listening to the album, I had heard of the band, but I hadn’t listened to any of their songs. And I knew nothing about the band. When this happens, I typically try to listen to the album without reading any press so I can form my own opinion. And 48 seconds later, I became a fan of Not On Tour.

While the tracks are short, they are far from simple. There are times where the songs are pretty straight forward, but they are never boring or tiresome. Intricate little nuances throughout the album force the listener to pay attention. I hear and learn something new everytime I listen. This album was produced by Ishay Berger and their last album was produced by Yotam Ben Horin, who are both in Useless ID. And it’s hard not to notice the influence of both musicians on this record. And even though these influences bleed through, the album (and the band) remain relatively unique.

The most striking characteristic of this record is the raw power that exudes from both the vocals and the music. The songs are powerful, angry, and aggressive. And the band has the ability to shift gears quickly and often without sacrificing any of this luster. At times, the vocals can seem angry, but overall there is a general positive message throughout. Growing Pains is a great snapshot of a band that seems to be gaining more fans with each new release, myself included.