Rumspringer - Empty Towers
Record Label: Traffic Street Records
Release Date: May 31, 2010
When it comes to your average punk band... you know what you're getting. Think of it as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: basic combination, ample results - but it warms you up, makes you happy. At the end of the day, that's all that matters, right? Rumspringer's highly-anticipated debut full-length, Empty Towers, is peanut butter and jelly shoved in between a Jawbreaker & Larry Arms sandwich. Personally, that sounds better than goddamn Thanksgiving.
Raw, visceral punk with Latterman vocals, Jawbreaker sentiment and the production value of Green Day's Kerplunk, it's actually rather endearing to bask in the low-budget, dive-bar grooves that the Phoenix-based punkers personify. At first listen, it's a collage of Northern California/Chicago-based punk bands with a palpable energy that's neither disturbingly lacking in production nor ripping off idols. Rumspringer isn't reinventing the wheel, per se, but they're style points are well-acknowledged and should earn the respect of all 'Org followers without hesitation.
The urgent appeal of "It's Literally Tearing Me Apart" shines alongside surpringly relaxed shakeups like "The Same Wavelength" and stingy pop-punk cuts like "Online Pokerface." While there are brief stumbles ("Post-Midnight"; "Seems Like a Flusher"), the bass-heavy throttle and acute honesty give Rumspringer their real sense of self.
The subject matter is nothing new here, and as it is with all punk rock these days, it can be both devastating and uplifting, in a strangely comforting way. Empty Towers is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich you're into halfway before realizing how intensely satisfying it all is. Familair and simple, yet the kind of comfort you could only rediscover in the mildest temptations.