Okay, so we all know that I love pop punk and the Banquets self-titled album is some fucking awesome pop punk. I loved this album from the second it started, actually that’s a lie, I loved it from the second the first single started – and was anxiously awaiting the day the album came out. This is one of those albums that I could not wait to tell everyone I ever met about. Previous Banquets were damned good. This self-titled album is fucking amazing.
The pop punk vocals and cadence and the full powerful music come together to make this album irresistible. I am really not sure which element is more dominate throughout the album, the music that controls you throughout the songs or the vocals that are so damned catchy. The music is fast and full with diverse influences – there hardcore style breakdowns, sing along sections to captivate any pit, passion to combat any emo or screamo album, and hooks that are catchier than any top 40 album you can get caught in your head.
The first song, Little Shallow, sets a great tone for the album – passionate yet extremely catchy. You know that these tracks will get you moving yet will never get too sticky sweet. Big Big Waves follows, cementing the super catchy passionate style. Paths is a song that is a unique mix of indie rock and pop punk that works so beautifully together that I am sure it will be its own subgenre soon enough. March 19th is a bit on the indie side too, with a great deconstructed ending that goes straight to your heart and Starts and Stops is honest and raw. Bums in the Breeze is the ballad of the album, and it is spectacular. The vocals really sing out and the music burrows deep inside you. The Flicker and The Flame strips down and the passion leaks out more and more as the song progresses. Daggers is the perfect ending to this album. It is a bit less hooky and a bit more naked than the rest of the album, yet has this amazing sing song section, “stay young, stay loud, stay brash and bold”, that slowly becomes anathematic.
Even though there is not a bad track on this whole album, Call It a Come Back and Fade From Gold are the two stand out and knock you on your ass – you will be singing these songs for months. Call It a Comeback – I am in love. Seriously words cannot express how good this track is, you need to hear it for yourself. It is super catchy, fun, and full of heart. The vocals are beautifully polished at moments and they are beautifully raw at others. And the sing along chorus sections, holy shit, that is where the song just gets better than you thought it could be. You will get infected immediately. Fade From Gold is another track that is simply amazing. It is high energy from the get go and only goes up, hitting the catchy crescendo at the chorus. It is catchy, it will get stuck in your head, you will be psyched.
The first several listens to this album and the first drafts of this review, I struggled to put my finger on just why this album was so fucking amazing. True, the hooks are phenomenal and the ability to pair the pop punk sound with a true sense of passion is something that I cannot really compare to another band, there was still something more in this album that was connecting with me. It wasn’t until I was researching the band and lurking around the internet that I put my finger on it, these guys grew up on and love the same bands as I do. And those influnces are so clear in their music. So yeah, I love these guys, this album get better with every play. Go get it now. And while you are at it, pick up some Black Train Jack.