Growing up kind of sucks. Philadelphia’s Science Club understands that. The pressure to be successful and not disappoint everyone around you can be a lot to handle, especially when you begin to realize that “you can do anything you want with your life” really means “you’ll be good at two or three things, and those things still might not make you happy”. Day Job, the band’s sophomore album, is an eleven track ode to coming to terms with being an adult, even if it’s not entirely clear what being an adult means.
Right off the bat, Science Club makes it clear that they don’t know how to achieve adulthood, and that there’s a pain to realizing that. In the chorus of the opening track, “Another Cruddup Juggernaut”, vocalist/guitarist Nate Adams recalls being surrounded by friends who are all doing great, while he’s still plagued by the endless and exhaustive online job searches and the reassurances that “everything will be better”. Later on the album, during the acoustic “A Suit for Weddings and Funerals”, bassist Nick Elmer shares his dissatisfaction with aging; feeling left behind while his friends and peers settle down to start families, and worrying about how the inability to “mature” (whatever that may mean) will affect relationships with everyone. Day Job isn’t exactly a concept album per se, but the anxiety that comes with not fitting into the idea of what being a grown up is like does come up often.
Musically speaking, Science Club blends pop hooks with the treble-heavy guitars and wordy melodies often found in folk punk. It’s a combination that works well, and the Day Job is filled with plenty of infectious tunes. From the instant sing-along choruses of “Another Cruddup Juggernaut”, “Marathon” and “RPGs”, to the almost Against Me!-like “Feelings: The Song” to the ‘I didn’t even know it was possible to fit so many syllables into a single meter’ “Bad at Parties”, Day Job is an enjoyable listen for anyone who likes their music to be even remotely melodic.
Science Club doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but what Day Job lacks in innovation, it makes up in catchy, heartfelt, and easy-to-relate pop songs, Growing up kind of sucks, yeah, but it sucks a little less with albums like this one.
4 / 5 – Stream it below.
RIYL: The Ergs!, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Hi Ho Silver, Away!