Review Summary: Do you miss getting stoned to The Smiths?
Rarely does a triple-split EP of rising emo acts - or a triple split record in general - grace our digital shelves, and rarer still is the notion that it may be one of the best releases of the year. Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 420
is that anomaly turned reality, and you bet your ass
it’s the best case for emo’s longevity this side of actual depression. It’s not just about the variety in each band’s approach to a mutually appreciated genre; it’s how each band is captured at different stages of their evolution. Prince Daddy and the Hyena still pull off their trademark self-deprecating, punk-Weezer impressions that made I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving
so potent, but subtle flourishes - like the acoustic verses in “Thrashville ⅓” - stave off one-dimensionality and take their sound in a more vulnerable direction. In the wake of their admittedly disappointing self-titled EP this year, Pictures of Vernon pick themselves up and hit a sweet spot between that EP’s polish and the balls-to-the-wall emotion of earlier material like The Days Are Just Packed
. And Mom Jeans - without as much pressure to prove themselves as their contemporaries (or maybe it’s just the weed) - throw in a pair of tracks that suit their moniker: slightly loose, but comfortable and easy to chill with. No matter what route they've taken, each band has ended up at the top of their game both instrumentally and lyrically, and ready to relate to disillusioned suburbia - from the sincere shouts of “I feel young again” on “Camp Games 1.1” to the regrets of too many In-n-Out Double Doubles on “YIKES (daddy wants wings).” If you think that relates to you, of if you already love any of these bands, this is the sound of your future, and it’s never sounded better - so get the *** on this