By this time last year, Virginia outfit Broadside were climbing up towards pop-punk greatness as they toured across the US with the likes of veterans of the genre State Champs. Now, the quartet are back with a colourful bang in the form of a new eleven track album. Aptly named Paradise, it is understandable that the group’s second full-length endeavour is packed with summer tunes that are primed for barbecues and Hawaiian shirt weather. From the get go, a succession of sun-kissed riffs and catchy vocal hooks casts a bright ray of sunlight in the right direction from the band’s previous release back in 2015.
The happy go-lucky vibes kick off with introductory track Hidden Colors, which incorporate vibrant synths to add further dynamics to the familiar pop-punk sound. Emotion-ridden Laps Around A Picture Frame embraces a raw approach to the vocals that proves to positon the track firmly in your mind as a stand out addition to the record. The single-worthy song emphasises on the important focus of anxiety and does this in an extremely powerful way. The break down proves to be incredibly catchy and up beat despite the seriousness that is accompanied in the lyrics; the vocals even go on to demonstrate an inner anger in the form of some brief louder shouts.
The tempo is turned down a notch when they come round to acoustic track Summer Stained which combines steady guitar chords with the heavenly vocals from Oli Baxxter. Further into the track sees a bunch of wonderful harmonies and dual vocals that interweaves a whole new dynamic that hasn’t been heard on the album as of yet. It is brilliantly calming and effectively covers the personal subjects of being alone in a vast world. It is the vocals from Baxxter that truly allows this group to make their mark and stand above the rest of the competition; they emit a wonderful sense of ease and enjoyment into the tracks.
I Love You, I Love You. It’s Disgusting sees a return of the ukulele briefly heard in Who Cares? and reaches new summery heights in order to bring the album down to a relaxing close. Predominately focussing around the aforementioned ukulele accompaniment, the track provides a dynamic switch of tempo and instrumental approaches that works wonders to summarise the album as a whole.
There is plenty of pinnacle-level pop-punk floating around with the group’s latest release. With less anger and more poppier tones than 2015’s Old Bones, demonstrating a slight shift with their sound that suits them well. Every time another pop-punk album comes into light, it is impossible to ignore the similarities that arise from other fellow ambassadors of the genre, the lyrical themes are relatable and the guitar riffs are rapid and catchy; it’s nothing we haven’t heard before yet Broadside have grown from previous endeavours and will continue to thrive in the competitive environment that is pop-punk.
For fans of: Man Overboard, Real Friends, The Maine
Words by Jess Boswell
‘Paradise’ by Broadside is out now on Victory Records.