"The Braces is someone's little brother," says Less Than Jake drummer and Paper + Plastick Records founder Vinnie Fiorello. "They dove into their older brother's record collection that had a bunch of mid-'90s Fat Wreck albums, some '90s D.C. indie rock like the Dismemberment Plan and then whipped it into some modern pop-punk with early Saves The Day influences."
They tell you in school not to start anything you write with a quote, but Vinnie put it better than we can, so there it is. The Braces is a four-piece pop-punk outfit from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and they play pop-ish punk-ish songs. Their songs have a certain charm to them - I wouldn't call it sophomoric, but I would say that right away, there's a tinge of nostalgia when you listen to them. It sounds kinda familiar, but it's done so damn well that it hits the spot right away. This is the pop-punk band you were looking for in 2013 without knowing you were looking for them.
Two Years is The Braces' third studio release. It follows a 2009 LP titled I'm Telling Everyone and a 2011 EP called First World Problems, which the group released for free on Bandcamp. First World Problems was enough to get the attention of some people - The Braces were featured on comps put together by the likes of No Sleep Records and Disconnect Disconnect Records - but the eleven songs on Two Years show the band hitting its stride. The record is put together as one holistic thought, as vocalist / guitarist Zack Sekuler explains: "We began writing Two Years about the situations we were dealing with as a band and with our personal relationships during a period of time where everything changed for us."
The forbidden punk beat is littered all over Two Years, as the band isn't afraid to amp up the intensity and stray into the blisteringly paced style of the genre. But equally as prevalent on the record are a slew of tempo changes, with songs like the title track and catchy standout "Black Eye Makeup" ranging from slowed-down portions to exploding, massive choruses.
Recommended If You Like: Early Saves The Day, The Get Up Kids, the Fat Wreck Chords catalog from the 1990s, and a combination of The Beach Boys, Elvis Costello, The Buzzcocks & Bad Religion.
Two Years is coming out digitally via Paper + Plastick Records on April 9, 2013. It will be available on vinyl later in the year.