For Fans Of
Sunrise Skater Kids, the popular mock easycore/pop-punk band from equally popular YouTuber Jarrod Alonge, released their second album ‘Friendville’ last week. After smashing out the album’s Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, Alonge has really shown up any doubters out there with what is not only a good album by today’s pop-punk standards, but just, in general, one damn fine record. Because here is the funniest and perhaps the saddest thing about this record: there is something horribly wrong with the current scene when a MOTHERFUCKING JOKE BAND WRITES BETTER SONGS AND HAS A BETTER ALBUM THAN MOST OTHER ACTUAL POP-PUNK BANDS OUT THERE!
Not gonna lie, the 11 songs here are damn good, not just in their arrangement and their production but also in how they are written and performed. Cause for all the jokes, some real solid musical talent went into this release. Then when you add in the fun, satirical and humorous nature of the album, the positives just keep on rolling, even if they are very odd and immature at times (see album ender, ‘Mother’s Milk‘)… but that’s kinda the bloody point, after all. It’s a comedy release – it’s meant to make you laugh.
‘Friendville‘ racks up more points as Alonge wrote the material mainly by himself, and then recorded and produced most of it, together with friend Johnny Franck in his studio, too. Oh, and if you follow the “frontman’s” YouTube channel, then you’ll know that he can’t really sing, so the vocals here are provided by Insomniac frontman, Varrick Jay (go check ’em out if you haven’t heard of those guys before), who whole good on all accounts, gets a great moment right at the very end of this record, so don’t press stop once the music ends for ‘Mother’s Milk‘.
Now before we go any further with this review, let us be clear: this album is not the same kind of funny as Chunk! No, Captain Chunk’s first record or like the whole career of Smash Mouth, but it’s actually a genuinely funny record that will pump you up, make you bang your head and have a few laughs. Sometimes all of those will happen at once.
So as you may have guessed, the full-length imitates and pokes fun at all the varying styles we’ve seen of pop-punk over the years, and no track does this better than the album’s standout, ‘All The Old Things’, which is where the band reach peak satire. Basically, and in case you couldn’t tell, it rips off near exact sections of the biggest hits of the genre from Simple Plan, Green Day, Sum 41, The Offspring, early (and ultimately the best) Avril Lavigne, and New Found Glory as well as so many other bands that are the very definition of the term “throwback”. Seriously, this song just has to be heard to be believed.
Kudos, Sunrise Skater Kids, you insane fucking bastards, you.
Two other songs that really stand out among the tracks are the pop-punk-turned-brutal-deathcore-track ‘Trigger Warning’, and the ADTR-like jam ‘Pit Warrior’. The former hilariously makes a complete mockery of all of the extreme SJW’s that litter Tumblr and the Internet nowadays, complete with some truly over the top, messy drum programming to cap it off. The latter (which features a cool guest spot from We Came As Romans’ screamer Dave Stephens) takes some pretty deep shots at those annoying punters whose only goal in life seems to be to go to shows and crowd kill their fellow audience members cause… there is nothing better to do in their empty lives, I’m guessing. Those wankers can get in the bin, honestly.
Furthermore, a special mention goes to the vapid and overly ironic Patty Walters hate anthem – ‘Nothing Special‘. Obviously, Patty Walters sings on the song and it isn’t an actual diss track – don’t get your knickers in a bunch As It Is fans. Also, speaking of guest spots, August Burns Red guitarist JB Brubaker rips out one sweet guitar solo in ‘Garage Door‘, one of the few songs on offer that would actually pass for a song by a normal band. Unless…that’s… the joke? Oh, god, I don’t know.
Anyway. It doesn’t take a genius to release that the lyrics here are just fucking ridiculous. From dogging the overly catchy songs that many a band release just for radio play (the immensely catchy number. ‘The Catchy One‘) to summing up the last half of Star Wars VII (‘Rylo Ken‘, obviously); having a rather scary obsession with breasts (the Mayday Parade themed track, ‘Rain On My Parade‘ which features a brilliant imitation of Jason Lancaster’s vocal style); to gloating about having more “friends” online and to even the awful “suh dude” meme – it just goes on and on through varying topics that no actual professional pop-punk band would ever dare record for fear of ridicule. But Sunrise Skater Kids aren’t concerned with such face-keeping scene trivialities.
And that’s what makes this record so goddamned good. Because no other band in today’s pop-punk world is going to put out a record like this. Well, at least not intentionally. What’s more is this record exemplifies all of the clichés of the pop-punk worlds, holds a mirror up to them, laughs at them viciously, and then laughs harder at itself. All the while doing the music very well.
If you’re a fan of the current pop-punk, Warped Tour era of bands and you grew up on the “veteran” bands of this scene, then ‘Friendville’ is really going to be for you. Sure, the humour may put a few people off for something more, you know, serious, and this album just isn’t going to emotionally satisfy some listeners out there with its comedic intentions. Yet for those who don’t need heartbreakingly serious music, though, Sunrise Skater Kids will scratch an itch you didn’t know you had or needed to be scratched. Of all the “bands” that Alonge spearheads, this group is by far the best, and it’s safe to say that we went waaaaaaaaaay too deep for this review.
Also, screw iTunes for initially removing this album off of the Apple Store (it’s back up now, however). If we can still buy Blood On The Dance Floor and I Set My Friends On Fire albums from there but an intentionally funny – and good – band is removed on there, then you’ve dun goofed, Apple.
1. Garage Door
2. The Catchy One
3. Pit Warrior
5. Rylo Ken
6. Trigger Warning
7. Exposure Bank
8. Rain On My Parade
9. Nothing Special
10. All The Old Things
11. Mother’s Milk