Review: The Greatest Generation by The Wonder Years

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Bottom line: 4.5 out of 5

The Wonder Years have been around since 2007 and I only found them a few months ago. There first release was an effort entitled “Get Stoked On It!” And to the band and lead singer Dan “soupy” Campbell, the album was considered a joke. This album made the band a laughing stock in the beginning of their career, and they’ve been growing and maturing ever since.

6 years and 3 releases later, the band has release their 4th and most mature album to date. The album runs 13 tracks (including a 7:35 closer) and contains strong lyrics and vocals, as well as top performances from the rest of the band. Opening up with “There, There” the record starts off with a kicking opener with Dan singing “I’m sorry I don’t laugh at the right times.”

Memorable lyrics are all over TGG, taking references of world war 2 to help symbolize and establish metaphors about growing up an out of the teen years. One of the my favorite lines comes from “Passing Through a Screen Door,” where a conflicted Dan yells “I’m 26, all the people I graduated with, all have kids, all have wives, all have people that care if they come home at night.” The lines of the album all have this theme to it, of becoming to old to stay a kid, and seeing everyone you know move on with life.

The album closes in a way that I only wish happened more often. The final track is “I Just Wanna Sell Out my Funeral” and considering the song is over 7 minutes long (very long for pop punk,) and is a great track, is amazing. Halfway through the track, the band allures back to the hooks and lines of the other songs of the record, meshing together everything that made the album what it is. The lines, when put all together at once, is one of the best moments I’ve ever heard in music; some listeners have stated they had shed tears, and I have to admit I came close at points.

This record is a gem in the genre of pop punk, simply put. The only song I found myself not liking was “Madelyn,” and that’s solely due to me not liking the recording style of it. If you like punk music, this is a must have album. If you’re not a fan it still is worth having a listen, though I can’t guarantee your reactions will be the same as mine. But hey, some music isn’t for everyone, and while this is not the greatest generation, this is most certainly the greatest Wonder Years album.

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Foreign Bands Surprise Me

If you haven’t figured it out yet, my favorite genre of music is pop punk, with a little bit of hardcore mixed in. Most of these bands hail from the west and Californian coastlines, with the occasional one originating from New York or Brooklyn. But what I’ve been finding lately is that the pop punk/hardcore scene reaches not just on the coastlines, but out past the borders of the country and in stranger places.

I know foreign bands are not some new thing, I know music spreads all throughout the world. I just always have a predisposition that most famous bands I listen to either come from here, Britain or Canada. But recently I found bands in my genre that have surprised me.

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First one is a new band I have been obsessing over, and that’s the quintet Tonight Alive. This group is lead by vocalist Jenna Mcdougall, and with her voice,the crew makes some very great music. I like their new song entitled “breakdown” and as I explored the videos of the song being played acoustically, I found a video where Jenna speaks, and the accent through me off. I did some research to find that the group is from Australia. Australia isn’t unusual to find musicians in, but to find a pop punk band hailing from there is surprising.

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What’s even more surprising then that is finding a hardcore outfit that comes from a country not well known for “heavy” music. I am referring to a French band that not only has an unusual country of origin, but quite possibly the weirdest band name I have ever found. What is this name you may ask? Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! It’s hard sometimes to find a name that unusual. But the band isn’t all that bad for those into the genre. If I could describe their sound, it’d be a mix of A Day To Remember, Four Year Strong, and The Wonder Years. If those bands interest you give the band a listen.

Bands come from all over the world, and it’s always nice and surprising to find a band that comes from outside your own country. For anyone out there reading this, what’s a band you found that originates from a different country that you found surprising?