Having grabbed attention with debut album Noisetank in 2011, New York pop punksters Gone By Friday have taken their time with its successor, whether by choice or not, but now return with Quarter-Life Crisis and it is fair to say that the band has upped the ante in sound, adventure, and fun.
The Queen’s quartet has discovered a new vivacity and energy in songwriting and sound, and they were no slouches there anyway as their last album proved. The eight tracks making up Quarter-Life Crisis simply leap at ears with a creative and imaginative vitality yet still retain the raw touches and essences which helped the band stand out in the first place. There is a maturity to the release which translates as contagious invention and whilst the release is still pop punk in its core form it captivates with raucous charm and fevered enterprise.
Formed in 2009 and tapping inspirations from the likes of Bouncing Souls, Greenday, Lagwagon, Rancid and Blink 182, Gone By Friday soon found their feet in the New York underground scene. The FreEP, a free to get EP and their live presence soon gripped ears and appetites, as well as establishing a base for their sound which Noisetank potently built upon. Now with another leap, Quarter-Life Crisis is here to re-ignite their tempting of new and broader awareness, and it gets off to a stomping start with The Hadean. The track opens on a blaze of guitar riffs which instantly has an old school punk/seventies R&B persuasion before muscular rhythms and scythes of sonic colour add to the heavily enticing start. There is a heavy rock essence with a touch of Sum 41 to it also, though it is not long before the pop punk heart of the track is romping with melodic infectiousness. The throaty basslines of Sean Ho provide their own striking bait within the encounter, but only matched in potency by the swinging beats of drummer Chris Berardi around the guitar enterprise of Peter Berardi and Billy Kupillas, with the latter’s vocals similarly bringing rich lures.
The strong start is swiftly matched by the raucous revelry of It All Starts With Me, a thumping stomp of a song with grouchy basslines and addiction forging hooks galore. At only a handful of seconds past a minute in length, it is far too short but still provides a tsunami of contagion and energy to exhaust and thrill without reservation. The sigh of disappointment at its brief tenure is soon forgotten once the clunky riffs and anthemic tenacity of Poison Jam steps up to ignite ears and energies all over again. There is an open familiarity to the song yet it matters little as its catchy devilry embraces body and emotions with insatiable energy and creative appetite, a mix driving the release as a whole.
600 Miles opens on a delicious acoustic enticing next, guitar and voice an immediately engaging proposal backed by the percussive and broader sonic imagination brewing away within the energetic croon of a song. Though it does not quite generate the more heightened reactions of its predecessors, the song leaves satisfaction full and appetite greedier, wants fed with gusto by Say My Name and the album’s title track. The first of the two is another acoustically opened encounter but straight away has rawness to it, a scowl of sorts which bursts into a fiery and aggressively melodic provocation. Its successor soon outshines it though, its opening dance of once more acoustically bred riffs carrying a Latin tempting which in turn ignites a voracious and welcoming tempest of compelling hooks, anthemic vocal harmonies, and irresistible nineties inspired persuasion. The song is a glorious rampage which alone sums up all you need to know as to why Gone By Friday makes for a thoroughly fulfilling feel-good proposal.
The album closes with The Story So Forgotten, a track like the last which feels like an old friend in familiarity but a brand new acquaintance in sound and temptation. It’s increasingly building and almost volatile anthemic intensity brings Quarter Life Crisis to a mighty conclusion, followed by another sigh that it is all over before fingers twitch and submit to pressing play again.
If the likes of Goldfinger, The Bouncing Souls, and Blink 182 whet the appetite then Gone By Friday have a treat for you, but equally they offer plenty to entice and please all pop punk fans within Quarter Life Crisis, so off you trot…
Quarter Life Crisis is available now @ http://gonebyfriday.bandcamp.com/
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