Michael Thompson (vocals), Lee Sharp (vocals/guitar), Thomas McNichol (guitar) and Ozzy Rumney (drums) are the four members that make up Stand Up Arcade. Over a period of twelve months the band wrote six songs, which ended up going on their debut release entitled Sunsets & Silhouettes. The band put some thought into the subject of these songs, which tells a different perspective of heartbreak and failed relationships. To get to the point Sunsets & Silhouettes is a very well produced and well-written pop punk album. The music is often powerful and the vocal harmonies are noteworthy.
This praise comes with a caveat - I have mentioned this on plenty of pop punk albums I have reviewed that if you are going to jump into the most over-saturated genre on the planet where every band already sounds similar you have to do something different. Whether it is introducing a glockenspiel or adding samples, the slim chance that any band will get noticed and remembered is if they don’t feed the existing tropes of the genre.
Sunsets & Silhouettes is one of the best sounding straight up pop punk albums I have heard this year but is also predictable. The band relies on a template the genre has reinforced for years. I was hoping and waiting for unexpected surprises but the moments never came.
The band opens with “You Keep Losing Inhibition, I'll Keep Losing Sleep” which begins with a killer guitar riff. As I mentioned previously the band excels at vocal harmonies and this song is a testament to that fact. The two vocalists trade lines. They sing, “We met once before, I don't know if you remember. How close to the door, she's ready to go. Outside brought the cold weather you ain't dressed for. She's waiting on her own with nowhere to go.”
“Effort 2” is safe yet dynamic pop punk. The cascading vocals towards the end are impressive. The most infectious vocals come from “But Hey, The Truth Sucks.” They sing, “I'm sorry for calling, your pictures are haunting. / These four walls are talking to me. / Please won't you give me the help that I need / To get me out of this place.”
I could have written this review and just mentioned that it was an above average pop punk album but I think it wouldn't have done anything beneficial for the band. Stand Up Arcade has the talent and skills for people to notice. I encourage them to not abandon the genre they obviously love but to try and revive it.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook