After a relatively slow start to 2012, there seems to be a recent influx of superb releases and that trend continues with the debut full-length album of the five-piece pop punk group With the Punches. Their debut album, Seams & Stitches, was released on July 3rd via Doghouse Records and it's quite an improvement from their already successful catalog. Keep It Going and It's Not The End Of The World, released in 2009 and 2011 respectively, displayed a lot of potential and provided fans with some impressive music, but With the Punches managed to refine their sound on Seams & Stitches and it is heaps better in every aspect.
The album starts off with a pretty good song in "Riverside", but there is a great guitar solo near the end of the track to keep things interesting. The second track, "Bad Pennies", picks up the pace and from that point forth, both the riffing and drumming on Seams & Stitches is very fast-paced and tight. A few notable tracks that display this upbeat tempo very well are "Postcards", "Home In A Lighthouse", and "New York Minute".
"Postcards" is one of my personal favourites because it is spectacular instrumentally and lyrically. My favourite lyric of the song is the entire chorus in which Jesse chimes out "Too many postcards only decorate your walls / I could have left them blank 'cause I doubt you read them anyway / I really wasn't that naive / I just wanted to believe that something was different here."
In my opinion, the fifth track, titled "Home In A Lighthouse", is the strongest track on the album and could very well be one of the best pop punk songs I have ever heard. The chorus is spectacular, featuring spellbinding guitar leads and the lyrics "I'm losing interest in all your promises / It's a matter of fact, I was all alone / You were only looking out for yourself," but that's not the best part of the song. The high point in "Home In A Lighthouse" is the little three second break before the final run-through of the chorus where only guitar can be heard and the occasional cymbal hit. Every time I hear it, I get chills sent up and down my spine.
Despite clocking in at a mere 52 seconds, "New York Minute" is another one of the stronger tracks on Seams & Stitches. "New York Minute" has a bit of a skate punk/melodic hardcore vibe to it and With the Punches pulls it off better than most bands in that genre would. It's amazing how much perfection can be packed into such a small time slot and With the Punches proves that a song doesn't have to be a certain length for it to be good.
The final track is the title track, "Seams And Stitches". The song opens with a nice guitar riff followed by the lyrics "I've lost another year debating if my time would ever come." Like the majority of the album, "Seams And Stitches" is very upbeat and catchy. There's not much else to say about this track other than the fact that the leads remain solid and the song closes out the album extremely well.
I can almost guarantee that the release of Seams & Stitches is going to help catapult With the Punches into the 'elite' group of pop punk. There isn't a single flaw that I can pick out from this album. Seams & Stitches is an absolute pop punk masterpiece and some of the tracks are bound to be favourites of the genre for a long time to come to new and old fans alike. Even if you aren't a huge fan of pop punk, I strongly recommend giving With the Punches 38 minutes of your time because this is an album that you just cannot miss.
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For Fans Of: Fireworks, Carridale, I Call Fives