Frankie - Retirement Party: Somewhat Literate (2018)
I think what I love most about Retirement Party lyrics is that they aren’t about grandiose displays of love or desire or even motivational speeches. They are relatable lines for anyone who stays in bed for too long or notices all the gum on the sidewalk, for anyone who shops at thrift stores and has ever had a sunburn. “Somewhat Literate” is the first full-length album from the Chicago soft pop-punk group, and it’s an absolute banger. The album has a very muted tone to its mood; faint annoyance rather than out-right anger, contentment rather than soaring joy.
“That’s How People Die” is the opening track on the album and my personal favorite as well. I mean, how many times a day do we hear “that’s going to give you cancer” or “that’s not good for you” but we shrug our shoulders and keep going headfirst into the future. I think this song is such a gem because it seems to send the message to stop thinking about the things that are going to be your demise and just try to be kind while you’re still here. Another song from the album that I really enjoy is “Jericho” and it’s depiction of the typical day of someone suffering with depression just trying to keep it together.
I got to see Retirement Party very recently when they opened up for Foxing in Columbus, and their set was incredible. Lead singer Avery Springer has a charming but humble stage presence and the entire band executes their songs exactly as they sound on the recorded album, which isn’t always a given. Springer manned their merch table after their set, and I was able to introduce myself to her as a representative of Alt Revue. I invited her and the boys to join us on our podcast in the future and she seemed really excited about the idea! She also sold me my pressing of “Somewhat Literate” before I returned to the fray for the Foxing set. It is the fourth album I’ve bought this year already and I still don’t have a functioning turntable to play it on, but boy am I looking forward to it!
Michael - The Wombats: Beautiful People Will Ruin You Life (2018)
The Wombats are a band that have my undying fandom and have had it for a long time. When I envision indie rock, it's The Wombats that fill the vision in my head. They're talented, they're fun, and they don't take themselves too seriously (check out their Instagram and Twitter profiles, you'll see). They also put on one hell of a live show, I had the privilege of seeing them open for the Pixies and Weezer last year (I was one of the few people in The Wombats merch line but that's just fine by me). This album is also filled to the brim with fantastic tracks such as "Cheetah Tongue", "Lemon to a Knife Fight", "Turn" and more!
I just got this album on vinyl and it is so special to me for one reason in particular. It was this album that inspired me to start Alt Revue. I remember the day it debuted and just loving the album so much and excitedly wanting to share that knowledge with someone, anyone (my wife ended up being that someone that day and she loved it too!). After having this experience, I thought about how cool it would be to have my own forum where I could rate and review music. Granted it would take a couple of months to realize this goal from that original spark, but this was the spark that started the flame. If that's not special, then I don't know what is. I'm so happy to have finally gotten my hands on this one, as it played such an important role in the history of Alt Revue.