For Fans Of
Pop-punk is getting a bit old and tired, isn’t it? Or maybe we are old and sick of all these damn kids trying to get out of their town and running on our lawns while they do so. Either way, the genre that was once at the forefront of the music scene is now being played, en masse, by every kid who seems to own a snapback. Not that it’s a bad thing at all that kids are taking their angst and emotions out into song; it’s just not as exhilarating as it used to be, you know?
If you’ve been smart enough to read the score ahead of the actual body of this review, you’ll know where this is going. Having the aforementioned description with the more than positive score will tell you that we’re about to say Strickalnd’s ‘Human’ is different somehow.
‘Human‘ has that same brand of pop-punk that feels like it’s been bludgeoned to death by a bunch of Hot Topic skinny jeans since the early 2000’s. Yet, when you jam out the full-length from start to finish, you can’t help but fall in love with it. The record has so much charm and charisma about it. Whether it’s the way the band has simply written the song or if it’s their background as genuinely great Aussie-dudes, we simply can’t tell you.
Strickland aren’t obviously convinced they are a pop-punk band, which is probably why the record feels so out of tune with generic posi-pop-punk and more in tune with alternative rock. Lead single ‘The Fear’ has the overwhelming sense they desire to be Such Gold or Trophy Eyes, with the hardcore influence in the track, while ‘Suffering’ features screams from Marcel of fellow Melbournians, Dream On, Dreamer.
Yet on every other track the band indulges in pop-punk sensibilities. Songs like ‘This is Hunger’ and ‘Left Out’ have that same pop-punk vibe that we’ve felt many a time and the former even has a typical pop-punk solo. However, something about the tracks, and the whole album for that matter, feels so genuine and so honest that they have an entirely different impact on you. They feel engaging, powerful and almost beautiful.
For a band whose lead singer looks like a lumberjack, Strickland have a sense of brutal honesty and emotion behind them. With each progression or section they pull out on ‘Human’ you instantly feel invested within its melodic scope and presence…the hallmarks of good – no, GREAT songwriters. And maybe that’s why this record is so enjoyable. This band simply writes great songs. Sometimes that’s all it takes; because that is all it seems to have taken to create a fantastic and stellar debut for Strickland.
1. Be Free
2. This is Love
3. This is Hunger
4. The Fear
5. Left Out
8. This is Forever
9. The Only One
10. Plastic Crowns
11. I Will Follow You