The sophomore release from Toronto-based Like Pacific has the band picking up right where they left off on their 2016 debut Distant Like You Asked. Another installment of anthemic, emo pop-punk tunes that’ll keep your heart rightfully broken, In Spite of Me (released July 27th, 2018 on Pure Noise Records) doesn’t shy away from what it is, and fans of both genres will find something palliative in these songs.
The lead track “In Spite of Me” opens with vocalist Jordan Black sounding like a classic emo punk chanteur. (Are we allowed to use the word “classic” when referring to emo, yet? Well I just did.) The same can be said for Like Pacific’s overall sound; oftentimes when pop-punk and emo converge, the arrangements, overall tone, and rhythms seem to adhere loosely to a set of standards, or dare I say…rules, which Like Pacific don’t seem to be breaking for the better part of this album. This is not necessarily a knock, just an observation which brings me to make the point that fans of bands such as The Used, Story Of The Year, Thrice, and even the more pop-sensible Good Charlotte will thoroughly enjoy listening to this record.
“Sedatives” is the most accessible and hookiest track on the record. It reminds me of the bangers that Paramore and Billy Talent were unloading on us ten to fifteen years back. Lyrics that scream of teenage angst and heartbreak, like “Taking sedatives repetitive till’ light of day, but to you it’s dark here in my room.”, fit charmingly with the vibe of the song.
Not much on In Spite of Me strays from the formula that Like Pacific have concocted. “Occupy Your Skin,” “Had It Coming” and “Steadily,” are a few more highlights on an album that has planted its flag firmly in the realm of emo-pop-punk. If you are looking for musical revelations, look elsewhere. But if you get off on bands that pull at your heartstrings, with a fast-paced attacking rhythm and melodic, high-pitched choruses, you’ve found your haven right here with In Spite of Me.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Kate Erickson