Possibly one of the most under appreciated men in pop-punk history, Erik Chandler is more commonly known as the bassist for the legendary Bowling For Soup (and if you don’t know who they are, then why are you even here. Go away and educate yourself right now!). Will this solo outing follow in his bands footsteps, delivering more of what we’ve come to love from the Texas Quartet? Will this be a dramatic change in pace for Mr. Chandler, allowing him to create a thirteen piece Jazz odyssey?
Well, there’s only one way to find out isn’t there? So we loaded up the AltCorner CD player and pressed play.
Opening with ‘After 12‘, we find ourselves treated to a pumping piece of pop-punk. An ode alcohol and what feels like a hint of discussion on the less glamorous side of finding love whilst in a band. An unsurprising start, what with BFS being very vocal when it comes to the subject of just how much they love their beer. That said, there’s a deep-rooted sense of maturity in it’s lyrics that just can’t be ignored and just has to be loved.
The feeling of maturity is present throughout a large chunk of the album, with tracks like ‘Anna‘, ‘Malibu Classic‘ and the album’s first main single ‘Push The Pedal‘ all telling stories of hardship, lost love and holding on to those close to you throughout the hard times. As cliche as this may sound, it cannot be denied that the lyrical themes combined with an often upbeat musical style really does cement it’s way into your head. There’s no shortage of potential for live show sing-alongs and radio-friendly melodies that you’ll sing to yourself for a long time to come.
Toward’s the album’s second half, we find ourselves in slightly more familiar territory. ‘Honestly‘ and ‘Where Did You Go?‘ sound like they’ve been imported straight from the glory days of the mid-2000’s, when bands like BFS, Good Charlotte, New Found Glory and Sum 41 ruled the roost and there was eternal sunshine! OK, so maybe the sunshine bit was a lie, but you get where we’re going here. It’s care-free and just right for turning up loud on long summer-drives with your buddies.
Closing track ‘Did You Know?‘ gently brings us back to the more serious tones of the previously discussed first half, yet there seems to be a far more emotionally honest feeling to be found here. Erik has put his heart on his sleeve and allows it to bleed down his arm for all to see and hear. A fantastic end to a record we have endless nice things to say about.
Here’s hoping for a UK tour in the near future!