Ah, pop punk. Somehow it has endured through its relatively brief but still respectable tenure among other spikey-haired subgenres, never quite becoming the most popular, but never disappearing either.
To their credit, while Not Very Fun at Parties starts off sounding very much like Blink 182 circa Dude Ranch and continues to do so for a good portion of the record, North Carolina natives Some Antics end up taking some pretty successful risks with these songs and the whole thing actually does end up having a little more depth than Blink’s record. That’s a compliment from me, take it however you will.
Opening track “Now (Losing Control)” features a post-hardcore breakdown in the middle of its bubbly happiness that is well worth the price of admission. The record starts to take a more serious turn around “Headband” (the fifth track) but it’s toward the end that things get really interesting. While the Billy Talent-style heavy ballad “Back in Time” fails to fully reach the surly depths it aims for (primarily due to the unpreparedness of the vocals to handle such a track) it does show glimpses into what the band will become if they continue on their current path, and it’s pretty intriguing. From here, we get into “Tim’s Song” which features a healthy injection of speed metal, and then the album closes with the thrashing screamo delight of “11:30.”
The songs are pretty tight, which is great because the production is for the most part only there to help bolster and layer. Not a whole lot of cleanup was done otherwise, but that’s fine, this is fuckin’ punk rock.
Not Very Fun at Parties is, ironically, probably a very fun record to put on at parties. It’s energetic enough to get an impromptu mosh pit out of any willing crowd, and it’s interesting enough to merit a second, third, and even fourth listen. How ‘bout that?
Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Danielle Kenedy