Deadline (One Foot Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Do you enjoy your punk with a nice dose of pop? If so, Pep Rally is a band you'll enjoy. They can play it fast, they can play it hard, but they always throw in the pop that will get you addicted. The hooks and the melodies will call out your name until you have no defense. You'll come running to them and surrender. There's no need to fight, because you can't fight it. This pop-punk quartet has your number, and they're going to get you as a fan.
The first shot on the album is "Happy Guy." It starts off very shaky, but then the chorus kicks in and everything is pulled together. Throw in a trace of ska, and powerful fade outs where only the bass and the drums are sounding off and you have a winner. This song starts the CD out with power. Although any of these tracks could have started the CD off with the same amount of power. "Mr. Punk" starts out kinda fast, and then the chorus slows everything down. The pop has set in, and the hooks are lined up ready to catch you. The bassist pounds on his instrument, while the soothing vocals tell the story of a guy who had enough with life, and just went out and became homeless and tried to find himself. And on top of that, he was happy finding himself. "Maybe life has treated him unkind/Maybe something else has changed his mind/Or maybe he's just PUNK," sings the vocalist. The pop-to-fast punk guitars keep everything shaken up and ready to throw you off in a minute, while the rhythm section keeps everything intense and strong. The lyrics add depth, because this band actually has something to say. "Unhealthy Days" kicks it off with some drums, and then the bass enters and sounds very nice. The guitar moves in with it's pop feel, and the whole song takes on a very soft approach. But then everyone jumps and the speed moves from 10 to 60mph. Lyrically it's a very political song about corporations making money while destroying our earth. Our waters are polluted, and the air we breathe are filled with chemicals. As they say, "these aren't very healthy days." "Surf God" starts out with a punk meets surf intro, and then with a "one, two, fuck you" the song lifts off into its speedy roots. Then it calms down a bit, and mixes some surf riffs into the picture. "Face Value" starts out with chunky guitar, heavy bass, and mid-tempo drums. Then the guitar jumps into some hooky riffs, and then the vocals come in. The backing vocals are a little out of place on this song, and destroy the song a bit. The CD closes out with "Why?"
Throw some melodic punk into a blender with some pop punk, and put it on high and Pep Rally is what you get. The music blends in the blender on high, and somehow comes out poppy, yet fast. The choruses are well written with hooks and melodies, just like every chorus should have. I'll give this CD a A-. Don't be left out, get this CD! I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
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