Much The Same - Everything is Fine (Cover Artwork)

Much The Same

Everything is Fine (2019)

Thousand Island Records

On the song “Homecoming,” Much the Same’s Gunner McGrath sings “‘Cause this is real/I haven’t felt it in so long/Not since we all played that song, and they all sang along.” It’s a fairly straightforward sentiment on paper, but in the context of the group’s newest album Everything is Fine, this is a declaration. A declaration that the band is back in full, and even though it’s been 13 years since they last put out a record, it’s hard to tell because this release has some of the strongest material of the band’s career.

The album is a blast, front to back, up and down. Great melodic punk rock, mixed with thoughtful lyrics, and catchy choruses. The band has put their all into each song, so much so that it’s difficult to pick a “best” track as Everything is Fine is a blistering 9 song effort with very few problems.

“Haunted” veers the closest to pop-punk on the record, but it fits right in with the rest of the melodic skatepunk tracks like “Burner,” and “Strangers in Fiction.” Lyrically, the group has crafted songs about love (“You Used to Have A Garden”), but also songs about dealing with life getting older and conflicting ideals (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”). Almost everything is catchy and memorable, including the wonderful closer “Passengers.” Much the Same has a very solid back catalogue of songs, but the anthemic nature of “Passengers,” along with its immediately memorable gang vocals, cries out as the band’s new closer at live shows.

The one outlier song is “In the Event Of…” which is a haunting, ukulele-driven song unlike anything the band has ever recorded. Written about guitarist Dan O’Gorman’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, the lyrics are deeply personal and sung with a quiet conviction. There were times during O’Gorman’s fight with the disease where the group was unsure if he would ever play guitar again, so to be able to add a song so clearly personal to Dan is a superb addition to the album.

It’s clear that Much the Same is happy to be back. Back making music, back playing shows, back doing something they love. Band reunions seem to be a dime a dozen these days, and reunion records can be spotty at best. We’ve all heard some of the bad ones; they can be a downer. Everything is Fine is not that downer record. It’s an extremely satisfying comeback for a band who deserve a proper comeback. You love to see it.