Review Summary: Latterman's sophmore album is a fun, brilliantly passionate, and gritty romp through pop punk. Filled to the brim with gang choruses, sing along hooks, and melodic soloing, this album could very well be the sountrack to your next party.
Long Island is a veritable breeding ground for hardcore and its variants. Bands like Glassjaw, Crime in Stereo, and This is Hell all have spawned from there. So it would seem weird that Latterman
sounds the way they do. If you are a fan of Against Me! or any of the new class of raw and gritty pop-punk acts, you’ve probably heard the name before, but never bothered to listen to them. Well, their sophomore album, No Matter Where We Go…!
is a quite superb effort from a band that seems to be the odd-man out in their local scene.
Probably Latterman’s best quality is the sheer enjoyment factor inherent in their music. The album is chalk full of catchy choruses, sing along chants, and plenty of hooks. Granted, this band is no Panic! At the Disco, as their sound is much less polished and refined. Latterman shows probably better than any other band out there that music can be catchy while not feeling cheap or forced. Overall, the album focuses mainly on the theme of friendship and loyalty to the ones you love. While it may seem almost cliché to those who haven’t heard Latterman, one cannot deny the passion that the band plays and sings with, which seems to make any sort of lyrical cliché forgivable.
Probably the bands biggest strength is when they employ gang choruses, something that they tend to do quite a bit. For some unexplainable reason, the choruses actually reinforce the message that the band is trying to send. Maybe its because there is such an obvious sense of unity and dedication in the band, or maybe, its something else. Probably the most outstanding vocal/lyrical interplay on this record incarnates itself in Zombies are Pissed
But when all is said and done, its obvious that the band believes in what they are singing and that’s an incredible strength of this album.
Musically, Latterman really fall in an odd category. They certainly are not the same shoddy three-chord punk that has been rehashed by an innumerable amount of bands over the years, yet they really don’t do anything that is extraordinarily difficult. Probably the easiest comparison to make would be to Chicago’s favorite sons, The Lawrence Arms. Gracefully sloppy, jaggedly melodic, and all around catchy-as-AIDS, Latterman utilizes a lot of octave chord rhythms as well as minimalist melodic soloing (see An Ode to Jon Contra, Pt 2
and Fear and Loathing on Long Island
for probably the best examples).
But what really sets Latterman apart from their peers in the genre is their ability to craft amazing songs. From the lyrics, to the melody, to the vocals, and really everything about the music, its hard to not find at least one aspect of their music enjoyable. The guitars and bass interweave without ever playing the same thing, which is something that is unfortunately missing from a lot of pop-punk nowadays.
It’s hard to say a lot about this record without reiterating the same points, which a lot of people would consider a detraction from the quality of this band. But to be completely honest, when the music sounds this good, its hard to complain about a lack of variety. No Matter Where We Go…!
is a superb effort from a rising band with tons of potential. And while this record certainly isn’t perfect, it comes damn close, and probably a lot closer than many of Latterman’s peers will ever get.