I’ve been writing reviews long enough to know that pop-punk solo efforts are an actual thing. I’m not talking about a dude with a nasally voice screaming into a microphone with an acoustic guitar. I’m referring to these solo efforts that sound as if there is a whole band behind them. Wyatt Parker aka Never Better is to my recollection the first one of these concoctions thats has sounded really good. The guitar playing is slick, technically proficient and precise.
I have to admit I will always prefer a live drummer but this sounded good. The most important aspect are the vocals. Parker has a very fitting voice for the genre but it’s not that nasally teenage voice. Being a thirty five year old man I can barely handle that voice anymore. Luckily, Parker singing is exciting, often emotional and heartfelt and that I could handle at any age.
As far as themes go well this is pretty much standard pop-punk stuff about cheating ex-girlfriends. Come to think of it a lot of songs are about that. I don’t have an issue with the ubiquitous subject matter.
Parker starts with “Introspective”. It's a short song giving a broad overview of the subject matter. He sings “I met you before the show. Rosation on your cheeks and chest. And I never thought that we'd end up like this".
Up next is “Anguish”. Uh-oh we know what happens here. Parker’s lyrics are extremely straightforward and there is really no ambiguity in his language. As the song progressed I was impressed by the assault of guitar riffs.
He continues to unload his thoughts along with impressive guitar sounds on “Schemer”. Seems like he isn't too happy with the other guy either. He sings “You're having coffee with my girl, I hope it burns you. I do. He closes the album with “Empathy” and “Indigo”.
Lyrically, it sometimes plays like a stream of conscience as if he is battling himself and doesn’t know what to do. I hope maybe the process was cathartic for him and gave him some more clarification. Let it be know my friends, lovers will come and go and when you're young it will seem tragic if you separate. You can't always count on a lover to be there for you but you can always count on the music.
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