Review Summary: Remember when pop punk used to be fun?
Let’s rewind back to the year 2002. A lot has changed over the last decade and the genre of pop punk is no exception. Gone are the days where Blink-182 are exposing themselves in music videos and writing songs about jerking off. That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions, but lately the genre seems to be missing something that made it so enjoyable in the first place: A sense of humor.
For those who haven’t been listening to the genre for over a decade, Drive-Thru was the go to label for pop punk back in 2002. It was the home of such popular bands as The Starting Line, The Movielife and many others. However, one of the most enjoyable bands to sign with the label was Home Grown. Formed in Orange County in 1994, the band released two albums before signing to Drive-Thru and releasing their most successful album “The Kings of Pop.”
Just a glance at the silly album cover and it’s apparent that the band are more focused on having a good time than making deep and meaningful music and we’re certainly better off for it. With two vocalists behind the microphone and an obvious sense of humor, Home Grown aren’t unlike Blink-182. The songs are about girls and love (big surprise) but the lyrics are usually witty and sarcastic which is one of the reasons the album is hard not to enjoy.
This is first found in the second track ‘I Love You, Not’ in which the band humorously describe their fear of saying those three special words. 'Kiss Me, Diss Me' is rather similar but equally as catchy. Like many of the songs, the chorus is highly infectious and both vocalists compliment each other very well. Another song that showcases the band’s dark sense of humor is ‘Second Best’ which is about cheating and it’s full of hysterical lines.
“You want my Girlfriend all tied up so you can threaten her. Since I’m not with you now you’re telling her that you still want me”.
Although the humor found in the album is one of the strong points, some songs do have a much more serious nature. One of the standout tracks ‘You’re Not Alone’ is full of encouraging lyrics and ‘My Time Alone’ is a surprisingly mature track which contains some of the most memorable vocals on the album. There’s not much to say about the guitars or drums as it’s nothing you haven’t heard before in genre but thanks to great production everything sounds quite crisp from the dual vocals to the power chords and drumming.
It may have been released ten years ago, but due to the Home Grown’s sense of humor and high energy level, it still sounds more genuine today than most bands currently dominating the genre. If you’re a fan of Blink-182 or you long for the days when pop punk was actually fun and original then you can’t go wrong with “The Kings of Pop.” It’s honest and upbeat, but most importantly, it’s fun.