I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, Parkside sound exactly like Blink 182 and Yellowcard and New Found Glory and Less Than Jake and Good Charlotte and Simple Plan and all the other emo/pop punk bands that ruled rock radio during the early 2000s, but on the other hand, they do it very well.
The reason I’m torn is because while music here is catchy, it’s overwhelmingly simple and, to put it bluntly, I’m not fourteen anymore and the whole hormonal love thing no longer really speaks to me.
I know I’m being unfair. Doubly so because, again, the music here really is quite well-executed. The guitar lines especially just flow so well between melody and fuzz, harmony and rhythm. The songs are also extremely well-structured, with more than enough twists and turns to keep a casual listener interested. They’re also short enough to not come off snobbish in any way.
As a singer, I have a personal bias against singers who rehash old melodies, and Parkside’s singer is nothing if unoriginal. He’s pitch perfect, but all I’m hearing are tunes that other people have already sang to me.
Maybe I’m just old and jaded. I know this music isn’t aimed at me. It’s aimed at the black-nailed high school kids who can’t quite figure out love, or friends, or anything for that matter, and they just want something vaguely upbeat to listen to while they sit in their poster laden rooms and hide from the sunlight.
Mainly though, I really just think it’s because I’ve heard it all before. Between summers spent at the Warped Tour and winters spent in high school, I was really happy when this style seemed to die its quiet death. So if you’re into the bands previously mentioned here and don’t really feel like straying from your comfort zone, I recommend this album. If, however, you’re like me and you feel like in 2014 music should be doing a little more, maybe give it a spin and move on.
Written by Syd Ghan