Point Of View’s 2011 debut “Sideshow Years” was an impressive boot to the ass of energetic, toe tapping pop/skate/ska punk, at times bouncing with a distinctly MxPx sound to it. In fact CDub, the band’s singer, sounds a whole hell of a lot like Mike Herrera. It’s a good record but feels like a first record. Like a band still figuring itself out.
“Burner,” their new EP, right from the kick off bristles with a more mature, more confident sound. I’m not going to say Point Of View has evolved in their sound or have adopted a different genre, but the songs on “Burner” definitely point to something more precise. The tempo has slowed a bit, carefully crafted hooks and more thoughtful lyrics standing in place of the more unfocused speeding train and well worn ideals of their debut. Which isn’t to say those are bad songs, they’re great, some of them are better than some of the ones on “Burner,” but these ones have more focus.
The first song, “Burner,” is a light, poppy song with a punky, catchy chorus, ska rhythms and a watery, walking bass line. It already sounds different than anything found on “Sideshow Years.” At nearly four minutes it goes on a tad too long, let’s face it, punk fans have been conditioned to have short attention spans when it comes to song length. Anything over two and a half minutes and our eyes start to glaze over.
“Home,” the next song on the record remedies this though by keeping things at a brisk pace and respectable length with its laments of the disenfranchised youth. That, coupled with the chunky start-stop guitars and sugary hooks points closer to 90’s era Green Day than anything else on the record.
“U-Turner” is the best song on the EP, with its melodies that rise and dip in the verse and give way to a shout-alongable chorus. The guitars pick along with the distortion cranked, the song chugging along like a train and clanking like it’s breaking wheels until it dismantles itself and burns away fairly suddenly.
“Arizona Sun,” the album closer, starts off sounding like a car ride through the mountains in the summer with the windows down and gets a little angry and a little sad. A song about growing up and running away, or running away from where you ran to in the first place, and possibly being strung out on something. It’s a wise choice for a final song and makes perfect sense following the narrative of what came before it.
“Burner” is a gritty record. Gritty and insanely catchy. Like chewing gum and sand at the same time. Lyrically, it speaks of the trials and tribulations of being young and unsure of your path, or just pissed off at nothing in particular and everything entirely. Like choking on that gum and sand. There was only a two year gap between “Sideshow Years” and “Burner” but two years is a long time when you’re young and it doesn’t surprise me that the previous record sounded like a bunch of energetic kids just having a good time and this record sounds like a bunch of energetic kids having a good time, but putting more time into the songs and infusing them with the experiences and maturity that the past two years have provided. A lot of shit can happen in two years and it sounds like it did to these guys. I’m looking forward to hearing where their next full length winds up.