I knew the streak wouldn't last.
The last group of albums I've reviewed had been decidedly extremely solid. Some great punk, some great hardcore, and a few things falling in between. Then comes Flashlight Brown. Now, I've declared my love for pop-punk on several occasions. That still stands. It'll likely stand for years to come, however, I don't like crappy pop-punk.
This, this is crappy pop punk. There's a few inherent elements that a good pop-punk album must possess. First and foremost, the vocals can't be awful. For whatever reason, New Found Glory's Jordan Pudnik is able to make his nasally delivery work for him, and because of this, NFG has the ability to write some really fun albums. Secondly, the songs can't all sound nearly identical. Pop-punk isn't the most artistically open style of music, I realize this, but bands do find a way to make the songs all have their own identities. Lastly, it can't be too long. Nobody wants to listen to an hour-long pop-punk album, and unfortunately, this is the only concept Flashlight Brown seems to grasp.
The other two, and more important criteria, are gone by the wayside. Singer Fil Bucchino is sorely lacking both in voice and delivery. It's not overly nasal, it's overly in the wrong key, each and every song. He's trying for notes he can't reach, and even in the lower key moments, it sounds amiss. Try and listen to "I'm Not Sorry" without being annoyed in 30 seconds time -- I dare you. It cannot be done. This of course, could be said about 90% of the songs, as they all lack an identity, and they all lack any notion of replay value. And not that lyrics have ever been pop-punk's saving grace, but good god are these bad. Some choice gems would include:
- "Like if I was retarded, would I even know I was?"
- "Now some inbred chick's on crack, rocking out to Nickleback."
- "I knew that she'd be pissed, if she found out I exist"