Like Pacific fight with their identity on sophomore record In Spite Of Me. The Canadian emo/pop-punk quintet never quite meld the emo and pop-punk on this record. The jump between emotional voice cracking verses and attempted hook laden choruses can be jarring. While the intent and ambition is commendable the end product isn’t up to the high standard of rock music at the moment.
Opening with title track In Spite Of Me, the emo style vocals accompany a lone guitar before the song kicks in. When it does kick in you are greeted with a generic style of emo. The attempt to add a big hook laden chorus is obvious, but it doesn’t work. The chorus feels out of place almost like it’s been forced in. This blueprint is followed for most of the album. It all feels rather generic, and the attempts to make it more unique don’t work.
Despite the negatives there are some points on this record that peak your interest. The Spring is probably the best song on this album. It’s high tempo and punchy vocals make it the most engrossing part of the album. The Spring also signifies the start of the midsection of the record which is undoubtedly the best part of the album. It’s the closest the album comes to the heights of genre heavyweights, such as The Wonder Years. One positive is that the album maintains an energy, at no point is a ballad shoehorned into the track listing. Something that is a very common shortcoming of albums in this style.
Overall this album attempts to blend emotionally charge punk rock with the books of pop punk but ultimately falls short. The album has it’s positives and some may enjoy it but will find themselves yearning for a better quality after multiple listens..