Alexandra Martinez Journal Staff
Lansdale, Penn.-based pop-punk band The Wonder Years started off 2013 with a brand new album; it marks the band’s third album, but can it really be called that? It’s really a collection of unreleased tracks that spans much of the band’s career. The songs released on the 18 track album show a five-year timeline of the band’s sound, prior to the release of their The Upsides album in 2010. It’s a different side to a band most people in the pop-punk community already know and love.
Unlike 2011’s “Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing” there is a variety of sounds that showcase the band in a different light. One of the stand out tracks is “Zip Lock” which is a total blast from the past for anyone who grew up listening to Blink-182 and Sum 41 with a heavy guitar-laden intro and intricate drum patterns, backed with a strong melodic vocal track. Many of the other tracks have this kind of strong guitar pattern that is a reminder of the early 2000’s pop punk movement. A great example of this is “Let’s Moshercise!!!” which opens with a strong mix of guitar that carries through the song and eventually slows to just a strong strum while Dan “Soupy” Campbell shouts his way through the vocal track before it picks back up with a strong mix of drums and guitars.
“Christmas at 22” is the typical acoustic track that sounds like it was recorded in someone’s basement with a melodic slow use of acoustic guitar as well as a mix of jingle bells; the band proves that they are more than just screaming. Campbell can sing as well, which is what he does on “Hey Julie,” the second acoustic track off of the album, which also relies on the guitar and Campbell’s voice. It is a catchy little song about a bad day that most people can relate to.
Many of the songs on the album are not only geared to fans of the band but to all pop-punk fans, especially for many people who grew up in the 2000’s on a steady diet of Green Day, Blink-182, and Sum 41. The album is fun and shows that The Wonder Years have not only grown within their genre but as musicians as a whole, bringing not only a piece of Pennsylvania into their music but just a general sense of fun. This album is an example of that; not only are they reaching out to their fans, but to anyone who likes music. The Wonder Years prove that they are connected with their fans and know what their audience wants, but know that they can appeal to more than just the pop-punk crowd.
Currently signed with label Hopeless Records and already marked at a few show stops deemed as “SOLD OUT” The Wonder Years will be embarking on a new spring tour with special guests Fireworks, Hostage Calm, and Misser. Starting in March, the band will begin a month long journey across the U.S. delivering their sultry tunes.