Young Ones is a little true to their name considering young ones are their main audience. It’s that infectious punch of pop punk and mid tempo power ballads that brings tweens to their knees. I’ll be the first to say that I like this genre as much as the next Warped Tour die-hard in their ironic band T and Chucks, but when does the formula end? I feel this recipe has been passed down so much that it can’t help but fall victim to oversaturation. Like eating that third bag of Skittles. Maybe a bad idea? But then again, maybe not.
I hear a lot of my favorite millennium era bands in this group and who doesn’t want that fresh nostalgic revival in their life? If anything, that’s where I classify this style currently. A to Be doesn’t take many risks and I found myself holding out for some refreshingly original moments. What I found was sparingly creative drum parts and a few clean poignant vocals that brought fond memories of Fall Out Boy and the like.
For what it’s worth, fans of the boy band rock scene will eat this up no problem. It is in no way a thrown together collection of what pop punk is supposed to be. When that is the motive it almost always misses the mark. What we have here are some of the better attributions akin to Boys Like Girls and All Time Low.
The spread of material tells a good story beginning up-tempo and anthemic with “Graduation” and carefully falling into a more somber yet inspiring tale with “New Year.” This track gave me the surprise I was looking for. It has a melancholy vibe just perfect for a heart to heart exchange or the confessions of a broken heart. The repeating motif is this panging of effects like a dead church bell accenting the lament. Piano eases its way into the mix and makes a great outro clocking this song in as the longest of the album.
I’d like to see these guys explore some more mature chord progressions and grooves on their future efforts because I see a lot of potential, but not a lot of X factor. One quick suggestion would be to crank that volume and move their work into a post hardcore realm. I’ll say it again, there’s some Fall Out Boy in there and it would grow some sweet legs with a few squats. Load the rack a little heavier and graduate from the bubble punk camp.
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