Hello everybody and welcome to Mosh Pit Minute! I am your contributor, Quin, and I will be taking you on a musical voyage from the alternative, pop punk, and post-hardcore genres!
1. The Philly based pop punk/alternative band signed to Hopeless Records, The Wonder Years. Where to even start? This band, along with their iconic mascot Hank the Pigeon, has been a constant in my life for almost 6 years. My journey with this band started in 2013 with The Greatest Generation, the bands fourth studio album, and it seems I was late to the party! This band's second and third studio albums were also bangers (we don’t speak of Get Stoked on It!, they don’t even claim that album anymore). Front man, Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell, puts primal emotion into his singing, and it shows throughout the band’s music. With dense lyricism and themes that resonate with everyone in some capacity. Campbell truly captures the feeling every person from the age of eighteen to their late twenties. We’re lost, confused, and struggling to find where our place is in this vast world. The one song that has always resonated with me, “Local Man Ruins Everything”, it’s, a song that reminds all of us that no one is expected to be happy all the time, like Soupy seems in the album The Upsides. I’ve adopted my life motto from this song: “It’s not about forcing happiness; It’s about not letting sadness win.”
2. Signed to Rise Records from Columbus, Ohio, post-hardcore band Like Moths to Flames first studio album, When We Don’t Exist, broke out with the first single “You Won’t Be Missed” on November 17, 2011. The dichotomy between the clean vocals and screams, without the heavy drum breaks typically associated between clean vocals and screams, gives this song an angry but accepting tone. In the end of some relationships, we realize that we cannot forgive or forget what the other individual has done, but the days without them become easier as time goes on.
3. For this next one, we are travelling across the pond to the United Kingdom to get a glimpse at the pop punk band Neck Deep. Life’s Not Out to Get You, the band’s second studio album (produced by Jeremy McKinnon, who is no stranger to the music scene) became a wild success. The raw pop punk vibes from this album reminded people about the early 2000s pop punk scene, which was slowing on the decline. This album helped spark the pop punk revival. The track “December” from Life’s Not Out to Get You is one that describes a relationship where front man, Ben Barlow, put so much energy into the relationship that it eventually pushed his love away. In this song, he only wishes his partner receives everything they want in the future, but in this moment the loss of love is painful and on his mind. On the softer side of the pop punk spectrum, “December” strikes a familiar feeling that most of us know all too well. If you’re looking for a prime example of the current pop punk scene, Neck Deep is a band more than deserving of being checked out!
4. Canadian post-hardcore band Silverstein’s second studio album, Discovering the Waterfront, was a large step for the band in terms of maturity in lyricism and vocal quality from front man and primary songwriter, Shane Told. Don’t be fooled, though Told is a master at his craft, a large portion is owed to the diverse melodic shifts from the other members of the band. The titular track on the album is where I keep coming back to time and time again. “Discovering the Waterfront” is a vow to never return to the relationship that the individual was once in. “I’ve hung up my guns. I won’t kill again.” Such a powerful line reinforced by the fact that the fighting is getting old, and you must leave the relationship where it lies. Don’t forget the good or bad times because they are all life experiences.
5. Never forget this band: Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties. You thought I stroked Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell’s ego enough? This lyricist deserves all the praise I can muster. Soupy CREATED an entire world for the titular character Aaron West in order to become a better guitar player and storyteller. I cannot pick one song to capture the essence of how amazing this band is. Campbell started this story with the album We Don’t Have Each Other, which describes the worst year of Aaron’s life. The raw emotion put into this album sparked my interest from the beginning. The vivid storytelling Campbell achieved blew me away. There is loss, regret, healing, closure, and a sense of hopefulness throughout the two studio albums, EP, and non-album single. Campbell has described this project as a character study conducted through music, and if I didn’t know better, I would say Aaron is a real person. I’ve seen Campbell perform as West twice, and when he gets on stage, he tells you his story. It is NOT just a musical performance. Campbell's demeanor changes, he speaks softer, he grabs at your heartstrings, and he acts the part of Aaron West wanting to share his life story while giving life lessons he learned along the way. To get the full experience listen to the story in the order of We Don’t Have Each Other (LP), Bittersweet (EP), Orchard Park (non-album single), and Routine Maintenance (LP). Just to give a little taste of what Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties has to offer; I will provide the very first song from We Don’t Have Each Other titled “Our Apartment”.