I have been listening to this album in my car for the last two weeks straight. It is gritty and raw yet catchy and beautiful. Imagine 90s indie/alternative meets punk with a dash of pop punk. This is an album that will capture teenagers and convert them to independent music. The mixture of raw honesty and then restless dissatisfaction will just simply capture the listener. The music captures the restless dissatisfied energy of being a punk kid while the lyrics comment on how it feels to be a not so young punk with a mundane job.
I Hate It feels substantial. Like it comes from a time before mp3s and digital art. This is something that you can put your hands on and feel that people actually touched things other than a keyboard and mouse while making this. The album cover perfectly represents the feeling of this album…black and white kinda looks like it could be a photo copy.
They have somehow created this sound that is simultaneously a bit melancholy yet super upbeat, and doesn’t feel awkward ever. And each song is better than the last, seriously. I don’t know if it is because they build on one another or if you just get brainwashed as you listen, but with every track I get more and more psyched on these guys.
So, they hook us with Constantly, a song about being young and reckless, it kicks off the album with “You’re seventeen / a backwoods kid like me”. Moving Forward reels us in, it is one of my two favorite tracks on this album of awesome songs. It is still on the grown up punks theme, put in simple eloquent lyrics, “Sometimes the things you’ve come to love get pushed away / I learned to love a certain sound and what it means to me”. I couldn’t help but just think ‘man I know, I totally know that feeling.’ All that and it is a damned catchy song.Learn to Swim has cool inflection and will be stick in your head for hours. Punches is a lighter track (like Jimmy Eat World style light) and will have your foot tapping in seconds with lines that just beg for a sing-along moment in the pit. “From a heartbeat, from a good kid, from a shuffle / to a cynical old version that’s in trouble”. Well Dressed changes it up a bit, it is fast, frenzied punk rock. The album ends with Float, a track about memory and loss, it is nostalgic, contemplative, and has an awesome feedback driven conclusion. “You never think, when you’re a kid that things will die / And when they do you just can’t figure out goodbyes”.
When I was a teenager albums were either bedroom albums or car albums, both always played one notch below what the speakers would bare, but the car albums were always albums that had an underlying spark to them. The ones that made us feel free and invincible. I Hate It is a car album. It would have no double been in the top 10 list to put in on your way to a show or a late night trip to Denny’s. From late nights in the winter with the frost forming on windows to the summer with rolled down windows blasting into a quite small town night.
This album makes me feel young, like in how much I like it – connects with both the small town punk kid I was and the adult I inevitably became. I will be telling everyone who likes good music about I Hate It, especially those friends I had back in middle/high school when we were discovering punk rock and falling in love with our favorite bands.