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Album Review: The Braces – “Two Years”

Being a long time, jaded punk rocker, I tend to dismiss catchy pop punk out of hand. “Two Years”, the third studio release from Thousand Oaks, Ca’s The Braces, was no different upon my first few listens. It was after a few days when I found myself singing some of the songs to myself and actually wanting to listen to it more that I came to appreciate this album.

Drawing from a large bag of tricks, the Braces vary greatly from the “Defend pop punk” bands that play the most indefensible garbage ever and seemingly all have the same singer. I don’t consider that a problem. Vocally I would consider the Braces closest to 90s bands like Jerk Magnet, Weston, and oddly SNFU. But not overly close to any of them. It’s at once familiar and unique, which is cool and hard to pull off.

Musically, there’s a good amount of variety. Fast beats transition seemlessly into mid tempo interludes. Layered guitars and vocals seem comfortable and not at all out of place or an afterthought, while not coming off as terribly over produced or sterile. This is a great credit to both the production and the vision of the band.

The songs seem to flow while being unique. “DIY” segues perfectly into “Siren” while being a very different song. Lyrically, they regularly drop well thought out, intelligent lines like “I’m a scratched cd, repeating mistakes on a regular basis”, “You’re not a face in the crowd, you’re the crowd that I have to face/If I’m not mistaken by now I think I make too many mistakes”

I haven’t heard a new album from a band that I feel really gets pop punk as much as this in a long time. This has found it’s way into my regular rotation lately, and what greater compliment is there for a release than that?

4/5 Stars



Video Interview: Zack Sekuler (The Braces) talks about latest album, influences and more

Front man, Zack Sekuler of The Braces recently participated in an interview with Groudsounds. In the interview he discussed the band’s latest album “Two Years,” his musical influences, directing music videos and more.

You watch the interview here.

“Two Years” was released on April 9th via Paper + Plastick.



The Braces post track-by-track of “Two Years”

California pop-punk act The Braces have teamed up with Property of Zack to break down and discuss the inspiration and meaning behind each song on their newest album, Two Years, which just came out earlier this week via Paper + Plastick. Below is an excerpt on the first three tracks:

Reasons Not To Hate Everything
Sometimes you need to go into your past to explain who you are and how you got that way. Being the designated benchwarmer in every sport I played was one of the main reasons I started skateboarding and listening to punk, for every reason I had to hate everything, I would find a new reason not to. This was the last song we wrote for the record, the goal was to make a song that felt cumulative of everything leading up to the two years these songs are about, that could be the introduction for the tone and mood set by the other songs on the record. I’m not talking about being 10 years old because I’m trying to reminisce about missing cartoons to sit on a bench or in the outfield. I’m talking about it because if that isn’t what happened, this record wouldn’t exist. 

Applause
Maintaining friendships is hard when you feel like you constantly have to please an audience of people. I was really busy at school and I was having a hard time managing the constant work-flow with a failing relationship. I didn’t have time for anything else and a friend of mine wasn’t willing to accept that the reason I didn’t talk to them as often was because of that. It lead to an argument and eventual falling out. This song came out of all of that. 

Scratches
I was listening to “…and out come the wolves” in my car and the cd was scratched so it kept skipping and looping the same part, I realized that a scratched cd was a lot like how I felt at the time. Repeating my mistakes and not learning from them. I was scratching at a scratch. I came to the conclusion that it’s better to just accept that I am who I am and whatever mistakes I make are inevitable, it is how I deal with those mistakes that makes me who I am.

You can check out the rest of the commentary right here.



The Braces stream upcoming album “Two Years”

California pop-punk act The Braces are streaming their entire upcoming album “Two Years” right here.

“Two Years” is set to be released on April 9th via Paper + Plastick.



The Braces stream new song “Siren”

With their new album about to be released, The Braces, a California pop-punk group, have made the 8th track available to stream.  The song  “Siren”, is on their upcoming album “Two Years”, which will come out on April 9th on Paper+Plastick.

You can listen to it here.



The Braces stream new song “Two Years” off upcoming album

California pop-punk act The Braces have released a new song called “Two Year,” which will be appearing on their upcoming album of the same name.

You can check it out here.

“Two Years” is set to be released on April 9th via Paper + Plastick.



The Braces stream new song “Scratches” off upcoming album “Two Years”

California pop-punk act The Braces have released a new song called “Scratches,” which will be appearing on their upcoming album “Two Years.”

You can check it out here.

“Two Years” is set to be released on April 9th via Paper + Plastick.



The Braces sign with Paper + Plastick for the release of “Two Years” album

Pop-punkers The Braces from Thousand Oaks, California have just signed with Paper + Plastick Records. They will be releasing “Two Years” digitally on April 9th.

Check out the track “Vandals” here.



11 Songs That Made Me Fall In Love With Punk Zack Sekuler (The Braces)

We recently caught up with Zack Sekuler of The Braces to get his take on the songs that got him in to punk rock.  Check out his list here.



The Braces stream new song “Vandal” off upcoming album “Two Years”

Pop-punkers The Braces from Thousand Oaks, California have unveiled a new song called “Vandal” from their upcoming album “Two Years”, and you can check it out right here.

A release date has yet to be announced for the album.  Once that happens, we’ll let you know.



The Braces premier new song “Reasons Not To Hate Everything” off upcoming album “Two Years”

Thousand Oaks, California pop-punk act, The Braces, have premiered a brand new song, entitled “Reasons Not To Hate Everything,” off their upcoming full-length album, “Two Years.” Along with that, the band also revealed the album’s cover art.

Click here to see the cover art and stream the new song.

A release date for “Two Years” hasn’t been announced yet. The band’s last release was their EP “First World Problems” which you can download for free right here.



Video: The Bogarts and The Braces post-tour highlight video, featuring new song by The Bogarts

Former Dying Scene Spotlight band The Bogarts and their homies in The Braces went on tour this past winter. To give you a taste of the good times had by all, the two bands have teamed up to release a post-tour highlight video.

As an added bonus, the clip features a new song by The Bogarts. Entitled “The Offensive Rhyme,” the track is due to appear on the band’s upcoming full-length “Nothing To Call Our Own.” Click here to check it out.



Video: The Braces perform acoustic version of new songs “Vandal” and “Black Eye Makeup”

SoCal pop-punk act The Braces recently visited Punks In Vegas to perform acoustic versions of two brand new songs.  “Vandal” and “Black Eye Makeup” will both appear on the band’s upcoming full-length, “Two Years,” and you can check out the videos of each performance right here.

The band’s last release was their EP “First World Problems” which you can stream right here.



The Braces recording new full-length album, post video update from studio

Thousand Oaks, California’s The Braces recently entered the studio to work on their follow up full length to 2011’s “First World Problems” EP. To prove it they brought a camera along to share the experience.  Check out the first video update from the band here.

You can stream and/or name-your-price download “First World Problems” right here.



Free Album Download: The Braces – “I’m Telling Everyone”

Because free, legally-obtained pop-punk is never a bad thing…

SoCal punks The Braces are going to play their 2009 debut full-length “I’m Telling Everyone” in its entirety at their August 25th gig in Canoga Park (my mom’s old hometown, oddly enough). The gig also features former Dying Scene Spotlight band The Bogarts. To mark the event, the band are offering up free downloads of that album over at their bandcamp page. Click here to get your very own!

The Braces’ most recent release was “First World Problems,” which came out in January.