Skyway - Finders Keepers
Record Label: Take Down Records
Release Date: August 16, 2011
A funny thing happened after I started listening to Finders Keepers by Skyway: I got a new favorite band from Australia (sorry, Tonight Alive or Forgiven Rival, I do still love you). This pop-punk group from the Gold Coast down under caught me off guard and surprised me (in a good way), releasing one of the best pop-punk albums of 2011.
Even though Skyway is a pop-punk band, there are a few parts that sound like a regular old-school punk band to me. One of those instances is right at the beginning of the album in the track "Losers, Weepers." It starts with a fast and upbeat rythm before the more melodic vocals break in. Thankfully, most the album stays upbeat. The only exception is the slow stripped-down song "Trainwrecks." Other people who enjoy bands showcasing a slower and softer side might really dig this song, but it just didn't do anything for me.
"Birthdays" is the standout track on the album. It is the kind of anthem track I would expect from a band like Fireworks. The lyric "growing up's just not for me" connects with me perfectly as a 20-something wondering what to do next with my life -- though I am sure people at different stages in their lives will enjoy the song all the same. I will openly admit that I am kind of a lyrics whore. When I listen to an album, I focus on the lyrics hoping to find something to connect to. Lucky for me, I found myself connecting with they lyrics on Finders Keepers over and over again.
The second best track is "Home Run." Even though the lyrics seem to be written about a very specific event/person (addressed to someone who ran away from their problems), I think the line "there's nothing better than not being alone" will make this a song a bunch of people consider a favorite. No matter how you interpret it, you know there is a truth behind it, and that the artist meant it when they wrote it.
I don't want what I am about to say to seem negative, because I mean it in a positive way: The key to this album is that Skyway doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. They just made catchy pop-punk tunes with lyrics that are relatable and ring true with the listener. There is something to be said about doing what has done before, as you as you do it damn good. Every few months, I will ask someone on a message board, "Have there been any good pop-punk releases lately?" Now, when somebody else asks that same question, I have an answer ready for them.
One random thing I love about this album is that it consists of 14 tracks. I am tired of 10 track albums! I never listened to a 13 or 14-track album and thought "Gee, I wish this had fewer songs." More songs = better. Well, at least when they are good, as in this case.