On Call Heroes – I’m an Adult

It’s 11am on Saturday morning. You have nothing to do today; no classes, no work, no responsibility besides waking up. Oh, and of course, clean your dirty-ass apartment. After your morning piss, you walk out into the kitchen and see the dishes piled up beside the sink. The dustbunnies from your dog, who’s obviously shedding like a motherfucker ‘cuz it’s springtime, look more like tumbleweeds as they follow you from room to room. There’s dirty laundry on the floor, and clean laundry piled and half-folded on your computer desk. It needs to be done. It needs to be tidied. If your mother walked in, she’d grab you by the ear and rub your nose in your own filth. You’ve taken the first steps simply by getting out of bed. But there’s an important step missing: The motivation. You wrack your mind, wondering how you’ll ever muster up the drive to get this pigsty in order and then you remember: On Call Heroes just released I’m An Adult. You are also, an adult, even if your apartment resembles the same disorder as your bedroom did in highschool, and nothing will give you the pick-me-up necessary today more than this newly-released, six-track EP.

The album opens up with “I’m An Adult,” which begins with a deceivingly mellow, 15-second acoustic bit, then throws the listener into a full-pop punk assault. Although the tempo is up-beat, vocalist, Bronson McMahon, screams of the struggles of being an adult, and how it feels like he’s “got the weight of the world on me.

“Another Sad Story” and “It’s Because I Got Fat, Isn’t It?” both continue the technically-strong, typical pop punk fashion that’s so ever-present throughout the album. McMahon maintains his whiny, but still somehow charming vocals, and while lyrics like, “…oh baby girl, can I show you the world,” aren’t wholly poetic, they remain consistent with what is generally expected from a pop punk album.

“I Didn’t Mean to Call You Again” is that one, more-emo-than-the-rest track that should bring out the listener’s emotions, creating this special connection between band and listener. Sadly, this song completely falls short of that. Luckily, “I’m Drunk Again,” saved the day with its crisp, jump-around-’til-your-head-explodes sound. I imagine that when the band plays this tune live, the entire venue is jumping up and down and singing along to every single fucking word.

I’m An Adult closes with the tune, “Brotherhood Part 2.” The emotional and feel-goodness that I was looking for in “I Didn’t Mean to Call You Again” was all over this track, most especially during the mid-song instrumental. I do wish that this tune finished the album on a high note rather than the low, emo sensation.

Overall, the musicianship on this EP is clean and technical, and shows the talent of the band’s members. Hitting on topics about relationships, drinking, partying, and growing up, listening to I’m An Adult brought me back to highschool when I used to lock myself in my bedroom and blast MXPX and Blink 182 on my pink Hello Kitty CD player. No Class Heroes’ sing-along, anthem-based tunes create a sense of nostalgia that anyone who was a teenager understands. Unfortunately, I found the vocals falling flat during almost every tune, as if McMahon was only putting in 70% when I know he can do better — listen to the band’s 2012 release Brotherhood if you don’t believe me. To go even a little further, the lyrical quality was less-than-stellar. I KNOW this band has what it takes to get themselves out there, already touring both Canada and the UK in the past, but why do I feel as if the lyrics were written by McMahon’s 12-year old self? Pop punk in general tends to stick to a set standard musically, and it’s those heart-wrenching, life-altering, super-relatable lyrics that are supposed to draw the listener in. “We both know what it’s like when I’m drinking…” No, I don’t. And I still don’t after listening through the entirety of this album.  Despite my ranting and raving here, I still stand by the fact that this is an album to throw on when you need a pick-me-up or some motivation to get through your Saturday, which is exactly what I did this morning, and now my apartment is sparkling.

Written by Robyn Smith

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