Review Summary: Don't wander from this album
Wander is an alternative / pop-punk band that has released a fantastic debut album, which has a distinctive sound all on their own. Wander blends melodic alternative instrumentation, with some pop-punk elements, and it makes for a very enjoyable album, with an overall warm atmosphere surrounding it. This album features a great variety of songs, with some being a bit slower with excellent build-ups (“Footprints” or “Not Worthy”), along with more fast-pace songs such as “You Deserve Each Other”. This makes for an entertaining album all the way through, as no song overstays its welcome, and no song sounds too similar to one another.
Wander are able to do this by having four great musicians that harmonize well together, creating a sense that the band is playing as a whole, and not as four separate musicians. The vocals on this album are excellent, as he is able to shift from soft melodies to yelling, but all the while staying catchy enough to sing along to. The lyrics on this album seem to follow the struggles of life for the vocalist, but they are presented in a way that isn’t as simple as how some more generic bands express their feelings. Guitars are tuned to sound warm, and they range from slow atmospheric playing to melodies that pair very well with the vocals. The song “Coping” displays the guitars well, as the simple playing is melodic enough to remain interesting. The drums aren’t overly complicated, but he still uses some great fills, and isn’t afraid to play at some faster tempos. Overall, the instrumentation is a testament that technicality isn’t needed to sound different or good, in fact, it’s refreshing to hear playing that has a clear pattern without sounding boring.
The similarities to Transit are very apparent, as this album feels very similar to their album Listen & Forgive. They still have a distinct sound of their own that will appeal to a wide audience, due to their ability to separate themselves from generic pop-punk that has become popular as of recent. I would recommend this album to almost anyone, because of how accessible it is, as it doesn’t stay in on genre for too long. As for the negatives of this album, there really aren’t any that I can spot easily, however, there aren’t any songs that really make me feel like this was something truly special or groundbreaking. The album is still really solid for its entirety, and will be a perfect playlist for the upcoming summer months.
Besides the music on this album, one should also take notice of the awesome album art done by Bradley F. Edwards, who also did A Lot Like Birds popular album covers.