Review Summary: Celebrate us when we're gone, and forgive what we did wrong.
In certain corners of the music spectrum, there is a very sad movement happening. These corners contain a stagnation, where music is so stale and deprived, it is in desperate need of an insurgence. Pop punk is a very strong genre of music at this moment in time, with waves of young bands playing pop punk, inspired by the bands from the mid-90s and early 00s. Music that catapulted the genre and turned it into a phenomenon; Offspring, Blink 182, Sum 41 and, indeed, Good Charlotte are just a few of the spearhead bands of the time. Bands that created music which resonates as strongly now as it did, some, 20 years ago. But as time has moved on, so have the people that created the music: they've gotten older, started families, become financially stable, and, forgive me for being so bold, a little out of touch with the world. But as these new bands create a mass interest in this type of music again, it appears the fathers of the scene want in on the buzz; bands that split up, went on hiatus or ran themselves into the ground to the point where no one cared anymore, think they still have what it takes to keep up with today's youth. Time is a healer they say, and fresh starts can be made, but with their legacy on the line is it worth it?
Blink 182's newest offering is one left with a bit of a divide; with Tom no longer in the band, many consider the record to be a deceiving farce, others see it as an album that feels like the band never left. One thing you can take home from Blink's new album, it has solid moments --even if it's only one or two-- Youth Authority
is something else entirely. Bands like Offspring never left us, despite having a few turbulent moments, and they have maintained their integrity --hell, even with all that is going on with Blink, and the controversial member change, they maintain a respectable level of integrity and preserve their dignity. Good Charlotte, like Offspring, never left us either, but unfortunately for them, time has not been as kind, and their output is one of contrived drivel, trying to clutch on to anything relevant. The band is best described as a pissed up old punker, staggering along the sunny beaches of California trying to catch the hearts of anyone willing to listen; the people will smell the wretched body odour before they hear him, but it'll be too late, and he'll slur away loudly, while he breaths his rotten, tooth decayed breath in their face, spilling his cheap cider on them, as he tries to put his arm around them and tell them how much fun he is.
Yes, Youth Authority
really is that bad. Suffering from a terrible case of dementia and ignorance. Tracks like "40 oz. Dream" talk to you like its the bee's knees, and doesn't realise --or care-- you're facepalming your head so hard you send yourself into oblivion. The track is a rip-off of Bowling for Soup's "1985", both musically and lyrically, attempting to hit a similar nostalgia and feeling, but the problem is "40 oz. Dream" is 12 years too late and comes out so damn dated. The vomit inducing tracks of "Life Can't Get Much Better" and "Stray Dogs" where a 37 year old Joel tries to present himself like he's 17 again, is just painful listening. Further desperate tactics to clip the ears of today's youth comes from asking Sleeping With Sirens Kellin Quinn to do the guest vocals on "Keep Swinging"-- who ironically does nothing to save this banal track from being anything more than a hollow waste of time. The whinny "Stick To Your Guns" saving grace is that it's just an interlude, as Joel's vocals wear thin after just 20 seconds. The whole record is littered in cliche topics of discussion and ones that, most of the time, don't seem real or relevant to these guys anymore.
Is there anything that can be taken from this album besides utter anguish, or seeing the desperately obvious need for Good Charlotte to relate to you? Well, the guest appearance of Simon Neill was a brief, but mildly entertaining entry. And despite the diabolical lyrics and vocal performances, Joel's vocal melodies are catchy as hell. The problem is, you woudn't want these songs to get stuck in your head. Musically the album is dull, but it takes a pretentious turn every now and then, and tries to saturate the listener in epic electronic and synth work --as if that would bring some legitimacy to what these guys are so clearly forcing. The final words to this review are simple: don't bother. If you're in full swing with the pop punk thing that's going on at the minute, listen to Neck Deep or something. If you're wanting a band from way back when, check out Blink 182's new record or Sum 41, because they are doing a much better job than these guys, and have more to offer people than this contrived, empty piece of garbage. With the increase of old bands coming back to the fold, this is one band that could have done with staying under its rock.
Editions: MP3, V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶, C̶D̶
Special Edition: N/A