Wow! It’s July already, how the hell did that happen? Not only does it mean that half the records that will make up those pesky end of year lists have already passed through our ear drums, but more importantly it means it’s time for this month’s Incoming. Or in some cases already here. Sorry it’s a few days late, we were busy trying to buy a house with some euros we found in the bottom of our suitcase, and or preparing our campaign to be elected as the new leader of TopGear. One of those, anyway yeah, sorry. On the plus side what a month of releases it is!
Good Charlotte – Youth Authority
Few tracks sum up the feel of the global pop punk scene in summer 2016 quite like Good Charlotte’s ‘40 oz Dream’. ‘I had a nightmare but I wasn’t dreaming, ran outside to see it’s not 2003’ quips Joel Madden. Given the number of veteran pop-punk greats releasing new albums this summer in a bid to put the scene’s young upstarts in line, you can see how he’d be mistaken. That said he also notes ‘all the punk rockers are over 40’ so his observations are on the money on that score.
It’s the return of this kind of playfulness to the Madden’s writing that bodes particularly well for ‘Youth Authority’ the first new GC record in six years. The brothers got themselves back in the creative zone with 2014 release under the moniker The Madden Brothers and are now clearly firing on all cylinders. ‘Life Changes’ makes for a huge blast of anthemic life-affirming pop-punk while first single ‘Makeshift Love’ has all the hallmarks of vintage GC at their best. Quite what the rest of the album has in store we can’t wait to find out. (DW)
‘Youth Authority’ by Good Charlotte is released on July 15th on MDDN.
blink-182 – California
Ok so it’s already dropped, but how could we compile July’s must-hear albums and not include blink-182. There’s no band anywhere in pop-punk with the ability to grab attention and divide opinion with a release quite like Mark, Travis and Tom, sorry Matt. It’s definitely Matt.
As the first outing of blink-182.1 ‘California’ has proved no different and whether you love it or hate it you can’t ignore it. And it’s hard to deny the quality of the writing or the musicianship involved. Hoppus and Skiba have long known their way around crafting pop-punk gems and there’s plenty of those to savour. The natural exuberance of the former, and the darker lyrical leanings of the latter, also provide one of the most varied and interesting Blink efforts to date. (DW)
’California’ by blink-182 is available now on BMG.
Owen – The King of Whys
Mike Kinsella’s Owen project is now a long way removed from the introspective, lovelorn and reticent material of his early output, and after the diversion of 2014’s ‘Other People’s Songs’, he’s back to pick up similar threads and themes as those explored on 2011’s ‘Ghost Town’ and 2013’s ‘L’Ami du Peuple’.
Kinsella’s in real fine fettle at the moment; indeed, his run of albums since ‘Ghost Town’ has been the best of his career, and early signs indicate that ‘The King of Whys’ will be another stellar triumph for one of the most interesting and engaging songwriters out there.
Also, while it sometimes feels Kinsella plays to the devoted choir, the promise of more lush arrangements and biting, raw lyricism – as well as a freshly-inked deal with tastemakers Wichita for the UK/EU release – means he should finally hit an audience far beyond the traditional Polyvinyl fanboys and fangirls, and an audience who might have been previously unaware of Owen’s many charms. (RM)
‘The King of Whys’ by Owen is released on July 29th on Witchita Recordings.
Rob Lynch – Baby, I’m a Runaway
You don’t have to dig too far through these very pages to work out that we here at Already Heard are big fans of Rob Lynch. So you’ll not be surprised to read that his imminent sophomore album ‘Baby, I’m a Runaway’ is one of our most eagerly anticipated the releases this month.
Lynch once again worked with longtime cohort Sam Duckworth (better known as Get Cape Wear Cape Fly) and his live band joined him in the studio, creating a sound that adds a punkier edge to his established acoustic folk pop with liberal splashes of lightly distorted electric guitars and gang vocals thrown into the mix. ‘Sure Thing’ and ‘Prove It!’ are just a taste of the pure joy to behold that Lynch’s second full-length is set to be. Sure he won’t have thrown away the sad boy tendencies all together, and there will be plenty of poignancy in amongst the glorious sing-along choruses. Get excited and prepare yourself for all the feels of every type as ‘Baby, I’m a Runaway’ furthers Rob Lynch’s much-deserved rise.(DW)
‘Baby, I’m a Runaway’ by Rob Lynch is released on July 22nd on Xtra Mile.
Emarosa – 131
Another band making their highly anticipated return this month are Kentucky post-hardcore outfit Emarosa. Following yet more lineup changes the band return with new album ‘131’ and a new rhythm guitarist and drummer in tow.
Already it’s shaping up to reinforce Emarosa’s reputation for slick, engaging post-hardcore that borrows elements from a plethora of genres. ‘Miracle’ and ‘Helpless’ have both showcased vocalist Bradley Walden on top of his game with two towering performances while the band’s musical soundscape is as enticing and expertly crafted as ever. But the tracks look set to just be the tip of the iceberg of what ‘131’ has to offer. (DW)
‘131’ by Emarosa is released on July 8th on Hopeless Records.
Billy Talent – Afraid of Heights
Continuing the trend of band’s making a comeback after several years out of the studio is Canada’s Billy Talent who’re getting set to unleash ‘Afraid of Heights’ their fifth full length. We don’t really need to tell you what to expect from BT with sterling riff work and frenetic storming choruses a given.
Judging by ‘Louder Than the DJ’ the band are breaking out their dancing shoes and are ready to party, adding just a touch of pop sensibilities to their tried and tested dark punk rock sound. Ben Kowalewicz and co never fail to get fists pumping from start to finish on their releases and we fully expect ‘Afraid Of Heights’ to be no exception. (DW)
‘Afraid of Heights’ by Billy Talent is released on July 29th on Warner Music.
Happy Accidents – You Might Be Right
We finish up this collection of July’s must-hear releases with loveable London indie-punk trio Happy Accidents . And yeah we know it’s another record that’s already out and we already reviewed, but we’re just a tad excited to see them at 2000 Trees this week and that ‘You Might Be Right’ is bloody great can’t be repeated enough.
It’s wonderfully irreverent, awkwardly delightful stuff that is so instantly likeable that it was presumably recorded using purely the power of the sunshine, rainbows and smiles. Or something like that anyway. You’d be a fool not to make this release a big part of your summer soundtrack. (DW)
‘You Might Be Right’ by Happy Accidents is available now on Alcopop Records.
Words by Dane Wright (DW) and Rob Mair (RM)