With Confidence – Better Weather


Album

Better Weather

Label

Hopeless Records/UNFD

Year

2016

Genre

For Fans Of

The Wonder Years, All Time Low, As It Is

Summary

It must really suck to be Blink-182 right now.

Rating

90 / 100

[Insert some dumb intro here about how pop punk is fucking dead or some bullshit like that], but With Confidence stand out from the pack and ‘Better Weather’ is different from those kinds of albums. Sure, these homegrown guys sound quite similar to many other bands, and the influences are obvious, but the songs that they churn out in this half-hour listen are a huge step above their peers.

The songs are huge, powerful and tight from beginning to end. The album opener of ‘Voldemort’ didn’t quite grab me to start off with, but by the time the band comes around to the second chorus I was hooked! It sets the tone of the record perfectly – upbeat, catchy pop-punk that has resounding and fulfilling choruses whose structures flow elegantly with poise and presence.

Sure, something like lead single, ‘We’ll Be Okay’, is a song that I’m sure any four people shoved in a room could pump out in about an hour and a half if you gave them enough pizza and some instruments. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a total banger of a song. Cause it is! The chorus is an anthem, bouncing up and down whilst remaining as catchy as herpes – the good kind of herpes that is, not that street shit. Yeah, songs like this don’t reinvent the wheel, but by God have the band used said wheel really bloody well.

That’s the thing that WC just seem to “get”. Your songs should have some fucking impact and some goddamn weight to them. It infuriates me to no end when an album is as weak and as flat as Bill Shorten’s zingers have been of late (lift your game, Billy boy). Like, how the hell does a multitude of people sit in a room, hear a song that has the sonic depth of Donald Trump’s morals and says to each other, “Yeah, let’s put this on a few thousand CDs and charge money for it.” Like, c’mon bands, step up your fucking game. Y’all should take a leaf out of With Confidence’s book and learn how to voice your chords and pan out your goddamn guitars, for fuck’s sake!

And that’s definitely one thing I love about this record above all else. It just simply sounds good. From the way the vocals sit in the mix to the way the kick and the snare resonate on every track and to the crunch and tone of the guitars – it’s absolutely spot-fucking-on mix-wise. That’s what helps make great songs even greater.

The main highlight of this record comes in the album’s closer, ‘Waterfall’. The song ascends from an emotive and gentle beginning into a huge and climatic ending so big that it puts those new Blink-182 songs to shame (oh man, do they suck). With Confidence show their true songwriting chops here as frontman Jayden Seeley emotionally strains his voice over crunching guitars and powerful, punchy drums. Don’t even get me started on the bridge which features a beautifully screeching and messy and guitar that you’d more likely find with bands like Pity Sex and PUP. It’s just so fucking nice to have a band close their record off in such fine fashion and not half-ass it. This song rounds off the half-hour listen in such a way that it leaves a great taste in your mouth so to speak. You don’t feel let down or cheated like you would after a night of questionable choices at that bar you’ve been frequenting ever since your ex-partner ditched you for someone much more successful (airing out some deep issues now, aren’t we?).

No. ‘Better Weather’ makes you feel fucking fulfilled from the first note to the last and then it reels you back in for more.

Conclusion

Look, I know you may have your doubts about these guys, but trust me when I say that they know what they’re doing. I was never a huge fan of their music to begin with but ‘Better Weather’ proves that With Confidence are well above the standard when it comes to pop-punk. They took a tried and tested formula and sucked out everything that was good about it and left the rest to rot away, leaving them with ten sensational tracks that are just so damn easy to fall in love with.

Tracklisting

1. Voldemort
2. Keeper
3. Archers
4. We’ll Be Okay
5. Gravity
6. Keys
7. Long Night
8. Dinner Bell
9. Higher
10. Waterfall

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