Jamie Rogers (vocals/guitar) and Zak Toth (drums) are Two Years Later. The band recently released their sophomore effort Dropping Anchor, which is a five-song EP.
I remember being in high school and female-fronted bands like No Doubt, Paramore and yes even Avril Lavinge were impossible to avoid. That explosion of what you consider a strain of pop-punk or alternative created countless bands which followed a similar criteria that would appeal to an everlasting supply of high school kids. Two Years Later certainly is one of the bands born from those ashes. To their credit the band is one of the top tier indie bands that make this type of music. Yes they do follow a lot of the tropes associated with the genre (which seems to a be a thing with this genre especially) but you can’t deny their delivery.
Rogers has a great voice period but it seems especially made for this style. She has no problems being dynamic and never seems to be in trouble of hitting high notes. Musically, the songs are tight and explosive. That being said if you are at familiar with the genre some of the transitions feel a bit too predictable.
Things get going with “Learn To Let Go” which is well executed from beginning to end. It’s catchy, doesn’t drag and is an effective opener. The lyrics revolve around typical relationship type stuff but most songs kind of do that, don’t they? She sings, “It was my fault so I don't blame you for hating me / It was a goodbye I couldn't take back / This is a lesson we'll never learn / This is the lesson, we'll never learn to let go / Whoa, whoa.”
The band has more success with “You Win” which plays into the band's strengths while “Pieces” slowly builds to a crescendo. I thought the highlight on the EP was “More Than This.” There was an 80's rock ballad vibe on this song, which really sounded good. Rogers nails it. I’d argue the verse reminded me of U2 when it comes to the music. They close with “Stay With Me” which reverts to the pop-punk style the EP opens with.
My only advice to the band would be to continue to explore outside of their comfort zone. They have the talent to do that and thought it paid off on “More Than This.” Overall, Dropping Anchor is one for the win column if you still yearn for bands like No Doubt and Paramore.
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