Not that it’s breaking news, but if you were to pinpoint a place in America that produces the finest in all things punk and emo you’d be hard pushed to think of somewhere other that Philadelphia. From The Wonder Years to Beach Slang, The Menzingers to Modern Baseball, Restorations to Hop Along, the city is rife with inspiration and talent from every corner and has, for a long time, been at the forefront of why the genre has had such resurgence in recent years. Add to that list The Obsessives who, after releasing their debut effort back in 2015, are ready to write their name in the stars with this self-titled sophomore effort.
The thing that stands out the most on this album is how it so breezily flows. The band don’t complicate things and play as loose, lazy and laid back as they like, not letting excess baggage weigh them down. The influence of their home city and various peers is clear, as well as images of love and socially awkward situations which fill the mind across these 14 tracks.
There’s the piercing feedback and dreamy repetition of ‘Now She’s Smoking’ that leads into the brilliantly infectious ‘It’s Not Fair’. There’s also the head nodding loveliness of ‘You’re My God’ and sunshine speckled ‘Sometimes’. It all makes for a very familiar, but highly enjoyable listening experience. The Obsessives aren’t going to break down walls anytime soon and you almost feel like they don’t want to. They just want to write bloody good songs.
It may not always hit the mark, but when ‘The Obsessives’ is good it’s very good indeed. Off key, jaunty and danceable in all the right places, there’s plenty here which will see you coming back for more again and again.
‘The Obsessives’ by The Obsessives is released on 17th March on Lame-O Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)