Prom King: Decades of pop in one album

Skylar Spence has concocted a fusion of 70s through 2000s pop with his 2015 debut LP “Prom King.” Whimsical synths and soundboards truly make this album defy time. From side A to B Spence takes you through different eras of pop. One moment it’s prom night in ‘72, then a disco club in ‘81. Spence displays howt these genres can be enjoyed in the modern era with a playful twist. Ryan DeRobertis, also known as his stage name Skylar Spence(formerly Saint Pepsi), made a big name …

From crybaby to hardcore, Can’t Swim unleashes a slugfest

Can’t Swim has undergone a shocking transformation in their most recent release “Foreign Language.” The New Jersey quintet completely dropped their whiny emo act for something much more brutal, aggressive and political. While Can’t Swim has always leaned on the heavier side of things across their emo discography, this EP is on a totally new level. Featuring big hardcore/rock names such as Drew Dijorio of Stray From The Path, and Frank Carter from Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes — “Foreign Language” is fast, punchy and …

The anthem of melancholy: ‘Nothing Left To Love’

Canadian melodic hardcore quintet Counterparts has delivered another record filled to the brim with despair, fear and anger. “Nothing Left To Love” is another display of why Counterparts has always been an influencer in the hardcore scene since their start in 2007. While they have grown as a band heavily, their sound has not changed here. This album sounds like “You’re Not You Anymore,” which sounds like “Tragedy Will Find Us.” Counterparts has created a perfect mix of all of their prior work by taking all …

The new kings of pop-rock: Don Broco

Hailing all the way from Bedford, England are the new kings of pop-rock. Quartet Don Broco formed in 2008 and has been dishing out clean, fresh and funky ditties ever since. Their sophomore release “Automatic” is the definition of the perfect marriage between the pop and rock genres. This album is non-stop fun and perfect for a night out on the town. Playfully groovy and crisp, this album is high quality sound for high quality partying.

Seaway’s ‘Colour Blind’: Fun, fresh, frisky

Ontario quintet Seaway delivers the true meaning of funky and fun in their 2015 LP “Colour Blind.” From side A to B the zest and glee never stops, every song on this record provokes a smile. The pop-punk genre has long been a dying one, but Seaway is here with a defibrillator to jump start the scene all over again. By using a plethora of power chords, some trashy lead vocals and chanty choruses, “Colour Blind” crashes into the listener’s ear with a slice of pizza …

The Frights: A messy twist on swing and doo-wop

The Frights have created the dingy love child between swing, doo-wop, and surf punk in thier 2013 self titled LP. This piece is the work of time travelers who went back to the 1950s so they could record an album in a garage. Using audio distortion and filters, lead vocalist and guitarist Mikey Carnevale sounds like a man from times passed. These megaphone-sounding vocals are then accompanied by chaotic echoing guitars, drums that are beaten and bashed mercilessly, and deep, sensual bass. All of this …

LURK brings fast paced political punk music to a new experimental high

Chicago’s quintet LURK has something special for all punks who like to dance in the form of the 2018 7-inch EP “Hi-Fi.” This fast paced, catchy and brief work is a must listen for anyone looking to get into the punk scene right now. The band explains this record as a “study in high fidelity sound,” and rest assured they are not joking. Recorded and mixed in the Bricktop Recording studio by Andy Nelson who produces for Jesus Piece and Weekend Nachos, this album strangely …

Grayscale’s ‘Nella Vita’ causes mascara to run and bodies to dance

Pop-punk project Grayscale shows listeners the happy-sad side of life in their third full length record “Nella Vita.” Really leaning into the pop side of the genre, the Philly quintet delivers 39 minutes of nonstop ups and downs. Grayscale gets personal with the audience, discussing drug abuse, heartbreak, and welcoming death. Several steps have been taken from the pop-punk roots of this project, their sound has bloomed into something much deeper and complex. While Grayscale’s art has never been simple, “Nella Vita” takes leaps into …

Fiddlehead bellows out a heartfelt message about losing loved lives

Post-hardcore quintet, Fiddlehead, guides listeners through a bumpy and emotional ride in the form of their first LP, “Springtime and Blind.” They are quite the supergroup, consisting of Patrick Flynn and Shawn Costa of Have Heart, Alex Henery of Basement, as well as members from Big Contest and Intent. This album is raw and melancholic, focusing on the loss of Flynn’s father. “Springtime and Blind” is an extremely personal work that dives deep into the impact of the death of a loved one. Flynn tells …

Sharptooth’s “Clever Girl” gnaws and claws at listener’s ears

Sharptooth’s freshman album “Clever Girl” is a fantastic piece of aggressive feminist art that is not afraid to be direct and mean. This American co-ed hardcore quintet seeks to provide new sound in the hardcore scene through the femme lense. With front woman Lauren Kashan and half of the band identifying themselves as part of the LGBTQ+ community, this troop breaths and bleeds liberal minded ideals. This album calls for progress and will make sure its voice is heard.