Pop punk…when it’s done well, can be so infectious and enjoyable! Case in point: Homestate.
I’m going to get something out of the way right here at the beginning: If you like Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, Neck Deep, Wonder Years (insert all the others) then you will click with this instantly. You’ll hear every aforementioned band reflected in some way and because those are solid AF influences to borrow from I am 100% okay with it. Songs are only like 3 minutes long, they get to the point quick and don’t spend too long on any one thing. You wont get bored.
Of the 5 songs, ‘Sunny Day’ kicks it off with a halftime groove laden jam, covering the old tropes of ‘becoming who I will be’ and ‘forgetting the past’ etc. It’s a good enough start for an EP that only gets better as it plays out.
‘Breathe’ comes next and is a much stronger song. Actually it stands out easily among the batch for its clever vocal dynamics and repetition. The hook is big and gets right in that annoying space in your head that loves catchy lines and before you know it ‘I need some room to breathe’ is going to be bouncing around for days.
‘Lifted’ finally hits on some faster paced punk breaks and drops in and out to allow the song some room to tell its story. It’s a good tune with the call backs to all the stuff that makes this genre still so much fun.
‘Sad Sick World’ follows suit but with a stronger ‘looking back and letting go’ theme. The group ‘whoa-oh’s at the end are great and whilst literally nothing on this EP is breaking ground…Homestate are just doing it really well.
Overall this is a strong offering from a band that I suspect has a LOT more to give than just the pop-punk standards on display here. I don’t mind that either, those are the very elements which grab you and say ‘we’re into this stuff too..have a listen!’ My main criticisms are what I’ve already said.. there isn’t a moment between these 5 songs which doesn’t hark back to another band/song/album etc. The mix is solid though and production is tight but also pretty safe and stays more or less the same the entire time. Despite all this..my arms are still air-drumming and my head is still nodding, my foot is still tapping and you really cant understate the power of well written music and catchy tunes.
I think there will always be an audience for this music. While the older guard is getting..well..older.. (that’s my people) and the next crop are looking for that same connection and expression…we need artists to reflect those ‘life experiences’ to normalise our own. To my ears this is a facsimile of the genre circa 2010 and my favorite era. The almost easycore-but not quite emo-but still skateable stage. My generation had Bodyjar, Frenzal, One Dollar Short, Seraphs Coal, Wishful Thinking and all the rest ‘backinthedays’. Enjoy a new soundtrack of mispent youth played out over power chords and pop punk anthems.
Super good release, get behind it. I like this a lot!
(forgive the nostaligic old-man-talk)