The Progress - Merit (Cover Artwork)

The Progress

Merit (2006)

Negative Progression

I've always been fond of records that seem to give off the vibe of summertime. There's just something inherently fun about music that you can drive around with windows down and sing along to. Saves the Day is always good for this with records like Through Being Cool and Can't Slow Down. Not surprisingly, the Progress has a similar design as they play a brand of irresistable pop-punk. It's always a pleasure to describe a pop-punk band without feeling the need to tack on adjectives like "disposable" to get the point across.

Much like the band's previous EP, Golden State, this full-length exudes a confident style of songwriting complete with plentiful hooks and clever structures. There's also a distinguishable Piebald similarity that pops up from time to time. Usually it's due to the fact that the Progress often strays from the verse/chorus/verse formula. A handful of songs display this such as "Backwards from Ten" and "Paper and Ink." The dual vocal attack keeps melodies fresh and memorable as Merit hums through these ten tracks. The instrumental side of the Progress is a very delicate mechanism. These guys have a style that is so cohesive I often find it hard to separate the instruments. It's a driving melodic force that sinks straight to the bone.

The Progress have solidified a spot on my summer soundtrack this year but more than that, I see a band who has found their niche. There's not a thing I would change about the Progress.