In Her Own Words
Steady Glow


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mathias USER (26 Reviews)
April 20th, 2019 | 43 replies


Release Date: 04/12/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Emotionally raw pop-punk that masters the basics.

Pop punk is essentially expected to have three things: Heavy emotions, catchy hooks, and some passable instrumentations/vocals. Anyone that can get those things onto an album is going to have a pretty decent pop punk record. It’s a genre that doesn’t expect variation, although a variation on these themes can lead to absolute classics (The Hotelier and The Wonder Years are prime examples of this). However, with this lack of variation, it can be difficult to make anything more than a pretty decent pop punk record. If you’re not going to experiment, the quality of the music needs to be incredibly high to be a standout record. On Steady Glow, In Her Own Words don’t entirely break free of what is expected, but they take the basics and do them damn well.

From the opening seconds, it’s safe to say that the band heavily relies on the vocal performance of Joey Fleming to make them rise above their contemporaries. His voice has just the right amount of grit while still being, for lack of a better term, incredibly pretty. Standout track “Right Now” sees the full emotional range of his voice, with a mix of clean tones being interspersed with harsher deliveries. “Right Now” also sees the band itself make its most impressive efforts, with drummer Omar Sultani putting in a particularly impressive shift and dueling guitar tones winding in and out of the song.

Again, none of this description sounds like anything that couldn’t be applied to any other pop punk band in the scene right now. However, the mastery of these ideas on Steady Glow places In Her Own Words above many of their contemporaries. There isn’t an unmemorable chorus, which is an accomplishment seeing as there are a variety of tempos represented on the album. Opener “Out of Focus” has a particularly memorable pre-chorus leading into a chorus complete with echoing “whoa-ohs”. “Serotonin” is the best pure pop punk song on the album, mixing the lighter stylings of Mayday Parade with a heavier variety seen more among The Wonder Years. This combination of pop punk styles gives In Her Own Words a unique sound, as opposed to one that sounds like imitation. The emotional delivery each song has also puts it a step above generic pop punk albums, as every word, note, and beat seems incredibly genuine and raw, making the album at times feel as though it would be as comfortable in the emo genre as it would pop punk.

Where the album most succeeds, perhaps surprisingly, are its mid-tempo rockers. The title track is one of the best mid-tempo pop punk track I’ve heard in years, with the melody being as catchy as the chorus itself and Fleming giving his best vocal performance on the album, which is quite an accomplishment. It also has incredibly raw lyrical moments, as the song, as does much of the album, deals with the sudden passing of Fleming’s father. The chorus is particularly powerful, with Fleming singing out “I've been seeing your face in the steady glow/Of the torch I hold/As your flame just burned out so/So suddenly.” Paired with two other mid-tempo songs, “Wonder” and acoustic closer “Sleep It Off”, this trio leaves the greatest emotional impact of any songs on the album.

Steady Glow isn’t a perfect pop punk album, but it takes the expected aspects of pop punk and executes them almost perfectly. There are a few issues, such as the mixing sounding somewhat muddy, which can make songs blend together. Additionally, there are a few more typical songs, such as “Delicate”, that don’t add much to the album as a whole. However, with pure raw emotion, heavier than typical stylings, hooks for days, and varied approaches, all perfectly topped with stellar vocals, In Her Own Words have made something any lover of the genre can greatly appreciate.



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user ratings (49)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
dmathias52
April 20th 2019


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Been on a really big pop punk binge recently and this scratched that itch in all the right places.

Steady Glow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6P4-tl7p-k

As always, any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Digging: Stuck Out Here - Until We're Each Someone Else

Snake.
April 20th 2019


21805 Comments


this looks like shit will check anyway and prob get mad

SymbolicInTime
April 20th 2019


4775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their first LP was fantastic so definitely going to check this eventually

Edit: checked a couple random tracks... did they get a new singer? He sounds drastically different than on Unfamiliar

Digging: Jimmie's Chicken Shack - Pushing the Salmanilla Envelope

dmathias52
April 20th 2019


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

@snake. I promise this is much better than the mid-2000s Red Jumpsuit Apparatus-esque cover implies.

@TheWonderSoFar I don’t believe there’s a change in vocalists! I think they’ve just refined their sound all around. The vocals aren’t as nasally in this one, so there’s definitely a clear change. I think he’s improved a lot. Although I listened to this one before their debut, so I may have a different outlook.

Snake.
April 20th 2019


21805 Comments


meh less concerned about it sounding like TRJA than sounding like “songs for when your crush doesn’t like you”-core

dmathias52
April 20th 2019


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh yeah that’s super fair, but I think that’s part of what sets the band apart. Lyrically they’re much more advanced than that (especially since it’s dealing with the death of the singer’s dad), although there are a couple missteps here and there that definitely scream “scene kid”, but they’re few and far between.

JesperL
April 20th 2019


464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah this band is so good. had a lovely chat with their vocalist when i saw them live recently, he's super chill.



'alone with you' is fantastic

Observer
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2019


7129 Comments


I remember listening to this band a long time ago, so nice that they're still going. Enjoyed the write up sir.

Digging: Caracara - Summer Megalith

dmathias52
April 20th 2019


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

@JesperL That's good to hear! I can only imagine what he must have gone through writing this album. Glad to see someone else enjoying this as much as I do.

@Ponton I appreciate it! Your writing is one of the main things that got me into this site, so that means a lot. Let me know if you give the album a listen!

keza
April 20th 2019


470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

They have a new guitarist on backup vocal duties! This record is awesome, this and the new Kayak Jones are my pop punk AOTYs so far.



And how good is the re recorded Right Now!!

SymbolicInTime
April 20th 2019


4775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[2] omg the re-record is fantastic

dmathias52
April 20th 2019


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I was wondering about the backup vocals! They were super clearly there, but I couldn't find any info about them. They add sooooo much to this. And I listened to the original Right Now and it makes me enjoy the re-record on this album even more.

Also checking out the new Kayak Jones right now, super excited about it!

veninblazer
April 20th 2019


10170 Comments


this album is too good

Digging: Dayseeker - Sleeptalk

dmathias52
April 20th 2019


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

^Hell yeah, thought you might appreciate it. I can't get the title track out of my head.

veninblazer
April 20th 2019


10170 Comments


"Wonder" is my top track. I love the slower moments here even more than the usual pop punk. Shit honestly gives me late era Wonder Years vibes.

dmathias52
April 21st 2019


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh yeah, I totally agree. I put The Greatest Generation as a recommended album, but Sister Cities is a better comparison. It's honestly their vocalist that makes it harder for me to classify them in the realm of pop punk. He has such as Mayday Parade or State Champs sounding voice, but then dives into much deeper topics.

SymbolicInTime
April 21st 2019


4775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not sure if I like this quite as much as Unfamiliar, but it’s damn close

dmathias52
April 21st 2019


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Glad that you like it! Spun Unfamiliar a couple more times and I’m realizing now how much of a departure in sound that is.

SymbolicInTime
April 21st 2019


4775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is a wonderfully fitting next step

Ecnalzen
April 21st 2019


8732 Comments


Gonna check this out. Out of Focus is a pretty good opener.



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