Okay, I was hooked on this album from the very beginning. I Always Leave, But Never Say Goodbye is an alternative punk hybrid, that totally demands your attention. The first track, Why Change Now, has every element I love in a punk track. It is aggressive, catchy, and has a killer, KILLER, hook. Every time I listen to this album this song just constantly replays in my head. It begins sparse and almost sweet, until the guitars and drums kick in full force.
In contrast the fast paced music and catchy as fuck hooks, the content on I Always Leave, But Never Say Goodbye is dark, brooding, searching, and screaming out. It feels like a journal, a journal of finding your place, your voice, your purpose in this stressful adult existence. This searching, these emotionally charged lines are beautiful in their desperation. In Why Change Now the chorus screams “I’m always a bit of a mess / …but it’s more obvious / there is guilt on my face /and my hands / I don’t even know what alright is / I don’t even know how I got this way”. The second track, I Know has a darker, angry tone, that more closely matches up with the desperation of the track, “Maybe this is accidental / maybe history repeats / maybe I’m just sentimental / maybe I’m not who you thought I’d be.” And I am kind of jealous that I didn’t write the line, “I think concrete steals my breath. These streets just love to see you bleed.”
Waterlogged is distorted and messy just like the voice of the song, “I’m not sorry / I couldn’t force a smile onto every page” and “Hide in the bathroom / but don’t look in the mirror / you want something golden / but grey might be clearer”. Stumble is high energy super catchy track musically, yet very desperate lyrically, “Denial speaks to me. I always listen / It always hides the decay” and “How many times can I be disappointing until you just give up? / How many times can I stumble and fall, drag you down, until you stop giving a fuck?”
The intensity steps up in Reacting, a song that belts out, sometimes like a cry, sometimes like a rally. “Take a look at me / do I look like someone with a plan.” This is the only track where there is a hint of change. “I don’t want to scrape by forever / I am always reacting / I am never the chooser”.
I Always Leave, But Never Say Goodbye starts out super slow and stripped down and lyrically – it is the track that literally ask for help. “Save me from myself / because I got nobody else / We’ll try to act like nothing’s wrong / like every word doesn’t hang too long” and “Like we’re not falling apart / like we’re not falling down / like we’re not on our knees / faces to the ground. / Save me from myself, ‘cause I’ve got nobody else.”
These are sentiments that a lot of people can identify with, we all either went through a period like this, or knew someone who did. Through these tracks we can feel the desperation, but can also see through to the other side. The lyrics are dark, but the music is aggressive, it is fighting its way through that darkness, to a place of anger, and eventually a place where melody prevails, and we get these tracks stuck in our heads. The music is sharp, the vocals almost melodic, and the lyrics encapsulate the early adult years to a fucking T. Those years that you first realize the world, your place in it, and that it is not all sunshine and puppy dogs.I Always Leave, But Never Say Goodbye takes you through the journey of desperation, realization, and beginning to come through the other side.