Review Summary: Most pop punk acts takes years to establish their own sound, left alone getting their feet in place to make a strong album. With competition such as Sum 41, Blink 182, All Time Low and Simple Plan controlling the pop punk scene it was quite surprising see0 of 3 thought this review was well written
For those of you who doesn’t know (and doesn’t read the summary), Destine is a pop punk act from the Netherlands. They released their debut EP A Dozen Dreams in 2006, and to be fair… it wasn’t that good really, it was average at best, and quite forgettable. Most people never though they would hear from them again, but out of nowhere they returned... and now Destine looks like what just might be, the next big thing within pop punk with a debut album that is anything but forgettable.
If you can’t stand the pop punk genre, you might just skip this, because that’s what you get with a pop punk band, obviously. Although, Lightspeed isn’t only a pop punk album, it’s a good pop punk album, one of the best in a really long time if you ask me. It features something rare among its genre, DIVERSITY, so even though if pop punk isn’t really your thing, you should give them a try.
The album opens with the catchy summer hit “In Your Arms”, this is a good song, a typical pop punk track. These tracks is what the majority of the album is made out of, like “Burn”, “Where Are You Now”, “Forget About Me”, “Everything in Me” and “Sinking Sand”; all catchy pop punk tracks with fast guitars and verses that builds up to big sing-along choruses that gets stuck in your mind for a while. There are not many really heavy songs, in fact there’s only one, and it’s called “Spiders”, which would have been nice to have more of in the album. Maybe even “Burn”, but that’s a track that really doesn’t know either if it’s a heavy track or a pop punk track. When I say “heavy” don’t think anything close to the latest Sum 41 record as even Spiders has an bridge that slows everything down, although it fits quite well with the song.
Then there are the slower radio friendly (not that the tracks already mentioned aren’t) and catchy tracks like “Stars”, “California Summer”, “Wake Me” and “Am I So Blind”. Most of these aren’t as aggressive and could easily be a song I’d listen to when waiting on a bus when I just want to listen to something catchy and not to fast nor aggressive, yet not as slow the final track, and surprise, surprise, the album ends with and ballad called “In the End”, oh the irony. Although it’s slower than “Wake Me”, it raps the album up quite well, although it’s really the most predictable thing on the whole album, just like Simple Plan’s “This Song Saved My Life” form their latest record, who couldn’t smell that one coming a mile away?
It’s about this time that I’d I round up the album and tell what I don’t like about it, but to be fair, this is a bloody good album, and I don’t have much bad to say about it besides that some tracks might just a be a bit predictable at times… oh, and the bass, where has it gone? It’s barely noticeable throughout the whole album, and the drumming is nothing but average with simple fills and generally simple drumming overall. That’s not the case with lead guitarist Hubrecht Eversdijk witch deserves a big round of applause for keeping the tracks (instrumentally) as interesting as they are. If it wasn’t for his guitar playing, I’m not sure this album would have been as good as it is. Same goes for pianist Laurens Troost witch adds an great atmosphere to each track, it’s not always noticeable, but I think the songs wouldn’t be the same without him either. As for the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist his voice isn’t what you’d expect from an pop punk band, it’s not the standard high pitched and whiney singing that were used to in way too many pop punk bands like Simple Plan and All Time Low as two excellent examples. His voice is actually quite enjoyable and has a certain calmness to it, and it doesn’t give you a supermassive headache when you’re done listening though the whole album. His lyrics are fortunately not the standard “emo I wanna die lyrics” lyrics that has been overused as f*** the last ten years! His lyrics are actually quite happy, still emotional. Again, without the keyboards the adding an special atmosphere to the tracks, the lyrics might sound more dramatic than they are. The well placed background vocals also helps the album quite a lot.
All things considered, Lightspeed is a really a good record. The best pop punk album I’ve heard in a really long time. Blows away pretty much anything I’ve heard from 2011 with All Time Low’s Dirty Work and Simple Plan’s Get Your Heart On standing as good examples as overproduced pop punk albums that might have had potential, but eventually totally blew it, fortunately that’s not the case with Destine’s Lightspeed. I’m really looking forward from hearing more from these guys.
- Excellent production.
- Exciting guitars.
- Not the ordinary high pitched and whiny pop punk vocals.
- Could use more tracks like “Spiders”.
- Where’s the bass?
- Far too predictable drumming.
“In Your Arms”, “Stars” and “Everything in Me”