The Aftergreens comprised of Adam Baumann (guitar/vocals/keyboards) Eric Wigham (bass/vocals/keyboards) Jordan Narloch (drums) are back with a new album entitled A little sad... but kinda rad?. It’s a big one coming in at fourteen songs. That’s being said it’s not emotionally draining album although the topics are not frivolous. The band lands somewhere between surf acts, pop punk and attitude and immediacy of The Dropkick Murphys and Neutral Milk Hotel.
The band plays heavily into the post-college coming of age depression, anxiety, apprehension and mediocrity that tends to be ubiquitous for people in their early twenties. It’s a bit of rite of passage I suppose for Western culture. I’m a couple blinks away from being forty but still remember the volatile feelings they describe throughout the album. I would actually argue it’s unhealthy to not experience what these young guys sing about. If there is no sense of urgency when you are younger you are going to have tough time later on. I think that's partly why this album was so enjoyable in a nostalgic kind of way. The other reason the album works is because there are some great songs.
One of my favorites was the opener “Get My Act Together”. The song is catchy, really catchy. I loved the vocal delivery as well as the lyrics for this one. The vocalist sings “. And with every second that I choose to waste, my life is fading. I need to stop sleeping in past noon. I hope I get my act together soon".
“I Guess It's Time to Grow Up” is another top notch song full of fun hooks and melodies. I loved the vocal harmonies on this song. The lyrics reflect directly to the thoughts of the twenty three year old me.
As the album continues the band jumps around to topics within the same bubble from romantic relationships to self-deprecating thoughts. The band shows a softer side to music with a song like “Singing Me to Sleep”.
It’s important to introduce some levity into an album with themes such as these and they do with “I'm No Rebel” which is seems to be a bit tongue n cheek. “Scott Roach” was just completely off topic and a bit frivolous comparatively but the music worked just fine. The band continues to have some success with a number of tunes including “Over Again” but loved the fact they closed the album with such a hesitantly hopeful gem entitled “Maybe Things Aren't So Bad After All".
Here’s the thing no one tells you when you're young. If you are lucky and driven enough to meet some of your goals by your mid 30’s the apprehension, anxiety that you had in your 20’s doesn't go away but merely manifests itself differently. You worry about going gray, making mortgage payments, finding ways to keep your marriage exciting, etc. In ten years time I hope The Aftergreens come out with another album entitled A little sad... but kinda rad? part II in the same spirit as his one so I reflect on my former self at forty seven. In the meantime I encourage anyone to check their present state of mind with A little sad... but kinda rad?.
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