Released in 2013, Worship This!‘s debut album, Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You, was something unique. On the surface it might have seemed like another punk album full of shout-along anthems in the endless sea of shout-along punk anthems, but the deeper you dug the more you’d find traces of college rock and guitar work rooted in the intricacies of 90s indie-emo. The range of styles was likely the result of the band having three songwriters, and while it might have felt chaotic to have so many elements working at once, it certainly gave Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You a very specific voice.
The band’s sophomore effort, Mint, lacks that same kind of unique feeling. It’s kind of a bummer to think of at first, but fortunately, it makes up for it by being a more focused, more tightened, and more cohesive album. There’s a unity that brings it all together. As soon as “Decisions, Decisions” starts, it’s clear that the band has turned up the Latterman influences to 11 and by the time track two, “Miserable Again” hits, it’s obvious that this newfound energy is going to stay. “So Long… Sucker!” and “Kennedy” help the album even its pace by slowing the tempo down for some breathing room, but neither outstay their welcome and are strategically placed between faster tunes.
What’s great about this album, other than taking its namesake from the best ice cream flavor (which is also prominently displayed on the cover), is that it takes everything that makes Midwestern punk rock so enjoyable and has a ball from start to finish. Sing-along choruses about the hardships of life might have been done a million times before, but part of what makes those songs so fun is the familiarity and belonging, and that’s the feeling displayed throughout Mint: a feeling of comfort and home.
Mint isn’t quite the same as the variety show that was Tomorrow, I”ll Miss You, and while the slow introspection of songs like “Bike Ride” are missed, it seems as if Worship This! have found a voice that suits them comfortably. Sometimes we all just need to be comfortable.
4 / 5 – Stream the album below.
RIYL: Latterman, Elway, Mixtapes