Their brand of pop-punk practically bursts with emotion, earnestness and grit. In the past, their music was well-structured and flawlessly executed - making them one of the most important bands of the scene and earning them a passionate, dedicated fanbase. Despite that, I just didn't really 'get' their whole aesthetic - until now.
The Greatest Generation is a practically perfect pop-punk album with enough depth, maturity and songwriting chops to power a small nation.
Growing up can be hard. Sometimes, we're forced to abandon our preconceptions of what our lives "should" be like, while friends and family achieve levels of success and happiness that can otherwise inspire jealousy. That can be depressing and cause some serious soul-searching.
Themes such as these are explored throughout The Greatest Generation, perhaps most succinctly with the song Passing Through a Screen Door:
For many twentysomethings (myself included), restlessness and that feeling of "so that's it?" can be a part of everyday life. Many of the songs on this album touch on that, adding to its power. But beyond the many thematic touches, The Greatest Generation features some of the best pop-punk music around today.
Never before have The Wonder Years crafted songs so musically impressive as these. The guitars buzz loudly, Dan 'Soupy' Campbell's vocals showcase a pitch and range previously unexplored, and nearly each song has a melody you won't be able to get out of your head for days.
Case in point: The Devil in My Bloodstream, a tune (featuring backup vocals from the great Laura Stevenson) that begins slowly but builds up, eventually turning into my favorite song on the album:
Final tracks are usually vital to the power of truly great albums, and the 7-minute I Just Want to Sell Out My Funeral is one of those. The song, a medley of sorts that touches on musical passages and lyrical themes featured throughout the album, is one hell of a way to close things out:
Check out The Greatest Generation if you're into the Wonder Years or consider yourself a fan of pop-punk. This band is one of the hardest-working around, and this is an incredible listen for music fans interested in this kind of music.
And if you dig it - go pick up a copy from the band themselves, it's worth it.