Review Summary: Sunburnt anchor tattoos.
‘Paradise’ is a summer album in every way possible. The cover art, the title and above all: the music. For their sophomore effort, pop-punkers Broadside have opted to lean more towards the pop side of the genre with surprisingly good results. From upbeat guitars to huge sing-along choruses, this album has everything for a day of summery fun doing stereotypically pop punk things.
Released at the perfect moment, just in time for summer, ‘Paradise’ is as colourful as the title suggests. Opener ‘Hidden Colors’ is one of the albums strongest moments, showcasing what 2017 Broadside is all about. The bouncy guitars form a perfect backdrop for vocalist Ollie Baxxter’s anthemic singing, boasting a chorus made for big stages. One thing Broadside pulls off better than many of their pop punk peers is the incorporation of keys into their sound. ‘Laps Around a Picture Frame’ sees the band utilising synths as an element to build tension, before erupting into one of the album’s catchiest hooks.
While the ridiculous catchiness of ‘Paradise’ might seem a bit forced at times, the clean-yet-raw vocal delivery and high fun-factor are the record’s saving grace. The woah-oah’s on ‘Miss Imperius’ are fairly stupid, but so goddamn fun to sing along to. Baxxter’s voice truly shines on highlight ‘Tunnel Vision’, being one of the album’s most aggressive tracks. Despite differing from most of ‘Paradise’, the song does not disrupt the record’s flow. The album’s diversity, for example placing a somewhat acoustic track after an energetic song, only makes for a more pleasant listening experience.
Besides a terrible oh-so-cute ukulele closer, ‘Paradise’ does not suffer from a lot of downright bad moments. Sadly, Baxxter’s lyrics rarely amaze, covering every pop punk cliché possible. Incorporating everything from love to anxiety, ‘Paradise’ features some strange juxtapositions. The aforementioned ‘Laps Around a Picture Frame’, being one of the record’s most summery tracks, boasts a chorus mentioning a cold room over and over. Oh, and skip that godawful bridge in ‘Summer Stained’.
If you like pop punk, bright colours and don’t mind generic lyrics, Broadside’s latest record is everything you could ask for. Invite some friends, don’t think too much about what you’re listening to and have fun. It’s summer.