Review Summary: You've heard this before, but it is too much fun to not check out.
Have you ever listened to an album that was nothing groundbreaking and had a sound you had heard a million times before, yet you still loved it? That is exactly how With The Punches first full length Seams & Stitches resonates with me. This album is meant to be blared and sung to while ripping down the freeway with the windows open and a car filled with teens who like to rock out. The band crashes through twelve fast paced songs filled with pop-punk goodness; in fact, there is not a single slow or medium tempo song to found on here. I love it.
The instrumentation on the record is what you would expect from a pop-punk album. Nothing that will make you ask, “How did he play that?”, but they manage to keep it interesting throughout; especially the guitar. It is noteworthy, since despite most of the songs keep up a fast paced rhythm, they manage to create distinguishable guitar riffs throughout. The lead guitar line during the chorus of “Riverside” and the rhythm structure during the chorus of “Letting Go” really give these songs a little character. These little flairs are essential for an album like Seams & Stitches; so many times you listen to a pop-punk album and afterwards you are unable to discern one track from another. While I found the band does better with this specific disorder than some of their peers, they still need to improve. A little variation would have been great, but the fact is that some of the songs are so catchy that they stick with you, and in turn make some of these symptoms less jarring.
The vocalist is nothing special, but that’s okay for this type of music. His tone reminds me of a cross between The Story So Far’s Parker Cannon, and Valencia’s Shane Henderson. It has a bit of a crisp to it which fits perfect with the fast paced double kick drum beats and strummed power chords. His vocal abilities are sort of limited though. Don’t expect soaring vocal runs or high notes, but what he lacks in vocal control, he makes up for in his melodies. Every song boasts chorus’s that you can’t help but sing along too. The lyrics are the usual, being mostly about growing up and break ups. As a young adult I can relate to some of the things he is singing about. “Every week’s the same, I can’t stand to waste another day complaining but making no real attempt to be different”. I feel the same way about my life sometimes.
Seams & Stitches is not meant to be over-analyzed or taken too seriously. It is a way to escape your life for thirty-eight minutes. You have probably heard a plethora of bands that sound similar, and they don’t do anything particularly better than any of their peers, but this album is undoubtedly fun. I hope the band can bring some more variation to their next release, but I still love this for what it is.
Harvard On The Hudson