Bright and Early - Getting Through It
Record Label: Pacific Ridge Records
Release Date: October 18, 2011
There are bands who emphatically proclaim that pop punk is not dead. There are others who take pride in calling themselves the defenders of the genre. And then there is Bright and Early, who forgo the mantras in favor of using their music as a weapon.
The band began making a name for themselves last summer with their self-released debut EP, Louder Than Words. Specifically, the track "Something Personal" struck a chord with listeners. From calling out Gabe Saporta for abandoning his Midtown roots for Cobra Starship to being embarrassed for calling himself a Green Day fan, frontman John Browne is not afraid to speak his mind. It helps that the lyrics, eloquently spun with wry humor, echoed the sentiments of what many others were thinking about the current music scene.
Following a year a DIY touring, the band is back with a new EP and their first release for Pacific Ridge Records, Getting Through It. With their history of ruffling feathers, one might think that they would follow their introductory release with a pop punk battle cry. Instead, they deliver four distinctly different songs in fifteen minutes, which is not something you can say about many of pop punk acts.
The EP opens with an acoustic track entitled "Stick By Me." Browne's voice displays an impressive range never reached in prior material, effortlessly shifting from falsetto-tinged verses to a raw, powerful chorus (think Motion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre). His croons of lost love are accompanied by a somber acoustic guitar melody. It may be an atypical choice for an opener, but it's my favorite track that the band has written thus far.
The three remaining songs are more in line with what fans have come to expect from Bright and Early. "Rule of Three" would fit right in on Louder Than Words with its chunky chords and bouncy vocals. "For What It's Worth" is the poppiest of the bunch but maintains an explicit edge. Closer "Selling Yourself Short" opens acoustically before the distorted guitars kick in for a straight-up rocker.
Rather than abandoning their roots like those they famously mocked, Bright and Early have improved and expanded upon their sound to avoid being pigeonholed by any one particular genre. They may be forever be known as the band that trashed All Time Low, but it would be a real shame if Bright and Early spend their career living in the shadow of one of their first songs. As good of a tune as it is, Getting Through It is a clear indication that they are capable of much more.