Home Grown- on their sophomore full length, Kings Of Pop
, they pretty much stay with the Drive-Thru protocol of catchy, fun, immature pop-punk tunes. However, for the When It All Comes Down
EP, they definitely switch it up a bit, and have no doubt matured. To sum it up in one lyric, "I cross my heart and hope to die/ Stick every needle in these eyes/ Inject this air into my vains/ If it would bring you back to me". The old Home Grown would have never written or sang something as dark and deeply emotional as this. Not to mention, when pop-punk bands mature, it's usually a hit or miss deal- either it works for them, or they crash and burn. In the case of Home Grown, it seems that maturity suits them quite well.
The problem is that if you're a fan of old Home Grown, like I was when I bought this CD, it may take some time to grow on you. It took me a while to adjust to the darker, heavier, more mature feel of the EP, but once I got used to it, I got to liking it very quickly. Not only have they matured musically, using more lead guitar parts and less plain power chord progressions, but they have obviously matured lyrically- they still about love, but less from a fun, quirky standpoint, and more from a realistic and emotional standpoint, and for those who can accept the changes, this album is really enjoyable.
"Keep Your Distance" is one of the better tracks on the album, and starts with the more mature musical style right from the outset, with a nice crunchy guitar intro. This dissipates into a quiter verse, showcasing the lyrical style of the album, and going into a loud, angry chorus, asking to "Stay away from my heart". After this comes "Cross My Heart", whose lyrics were mentioned in the intro. Although this song may be startling to Home Grown fans, talking about death because of an unfulfilled love, but it's a very good song. The lyrics work for the song, and the guitars are more spaced out, giving the song a feeling of longing.
Next is "I Was Right About This", which is a nice track that's probably the most like old HG. I took a liking to this song first, because it was sort of reminiscent of the days of Kings of Pop
. Even so, it's still more mature and one of the best songs on the album. Home Grown still uses some harmonies, and some power chords, but they use them in a different way, and this can be seen on "I Was Right About This". The drumming remains pretty much punk standard, but the guitars are more creative than Home Grown was used to. "Midnight City Sky" is another fast, dark track, showcasing the cool guitar parts and deep lyrics the HG boys now write. A really good song that isn't really stereotypical of any style, and shows the maturity of the new, older Home Grown.
"I Win, You Lose" is one of the best songs, lyrically, on the whole EP, in my opinion. "To the point of no return/ You're shattered like a mirror/ Can you last?" asks the introduction, complimented only by a soft, palm-muted guitar part, turning into a sort of punk-ish love song, dealing with suicide. Again, it may take some time to get used to the darker lyrics and darker music, but it is a well-made change in direction for the band. The album closes out with (in my opinion) the worst song on the album. Not to say that it's necessarily a bad song, because this is a great EP, but it's just not as good as the rest. "What Would Love Do Now" starts off with an odd sort of verse, and then turns into a chorus that gives the impression of loneliness and longing. It's just a little too mature for me, but it's still a decent song.
Home Grown, mature or not, is a good band. This EP changed their style quite a bit, maturing a lot from Kings Of Pop
. The new style, however, works for them quite well, showcasing their great musical abillity to write great songs and deep lyrics. This is a really good EP, and if you're open to a little change, it's an enjoyable CD to listen to. If you're not ready to admit that Home Grown has indeed grown up, then don't bother listening to this. But, if you can accept maturity, change, and musical growth, then this is an album you won't want to pass up.