Slick production – check. Singalong choruses right out of the gate – check. Songs about being jilted by your girlfriend – check. We have greens across the board, commander. All systems are go for launching yet another pop-punk record.
There’s not anything in particular to dislike about this offering from Shilovatt. It wraps itself around with the comfort of all your favorite pop-punk records of the last ten years, enveloping you with its familiarity. To those who know what they like, and if what they like is a poppy punk band with strong melodies and all the usual hooks, these five songs are for them. Everything is exactly where it should be, with no surprises. People who like a harder edge or something unexpected in their music won’t be missing much by skipping this one. My favorite part of the record is actually the album art; a sort of dreamy blue landscape print that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Jets to Brazil or Sunny Day record. Whoever was responsible for that should get a pat on the back.
The two standouts are “Stay Strong” and “In My Head”. I will forgive the fact that they use the word “boyfriend” in “In My Head” (normally an automatic one star deduction) and will instead appreciate it for what it is – a very strong Blink-182 / 5 Cent Deposit song that takes me back about ten years. “Stay Strong” is DTM’s “Cruel World”. No, seriously. Same chords, guitar tone, and even the same drum fill into the verse. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then DTM ought to be quite flattered indeed. Despite this (and because of it), “Stay Strong” is my favorite track. If Shilovatt can find their own voice in this direction they will be onto something.