A Double Dose of Album Reviews Featuring Fat Heaven's Trash Life and Singing Lungs' Coming Around
Fat Heaven - Trash Life - 4.6 out of 5 stars
The Brooklyn based pop-punk trio, Fat Heaven, released their 3rd full-length album, entitled Trash Life, on February 24, 2023, and it is absolutely fantastic.
I had mentioned in an Instagram comment on the Sell The Heart Records post that the band perfectly finds a way to throw a great emo sound (for lack of a better word) on top of these really catchy pop-punk hooks and overall tone the way The Ataris did so well, and now that I made the comparison I think it is pretty appropriate.
Sure, Fat Heaven leans much more to the pop-punk side (and they do have a lot of Screeching Weasel/The Ramones sound on some songs), but those vocal melodies and the louder gang vocals have that flair to bring that energy and emotion to the song that pop-punk usually ignores to keep things punchy.
For me, it’s the best of both worlds, and you can get a taste of this on their first single which is also the first song off the album “Quarter Life Crisis.”
“Doomsday” brings out some cool Rancid vibes in the verses, but then it gets much more sing-songy in the chorus while doing it seamlessly, and it blows me away considering the song is not necessarily a happy song (referencing the end of the world and all).
The next song on the album “Miracle” might be my favorite on the album, but I am torn between like 4 songs on that. It is definitely a catchy song. I just have no idea what is being said in the verses yet…I need a few more listens, because it comes out hot and fast and with a lot of words that make it hard to distinguish really any of them quick enough to understand it. That’s not a critique either, because it sounds cool. I just have to figure out what’s going on by listening more and more.
I should mention that this album is not all new music technically, but for those who haven’t heard of Fat Heaven before, that won’t matter. But the album has 4 brand new songs and 6 other songs that were released either on their last EP or on a split that they previously did.
So, it’s sort of like their greatest hits of the last few years mixed with some great new songs.
I highly recommend you check this album out, and play it loud!
Recommended Songs: “Quarter Life Crisis”, “Never Needed You”, “Tarantula”, “Miracle”
Singing Lungs - Coming Around - 4.5 out of 5 stars
Singing Lungs’ new album called Coming Around is an 11-song straight up rock album that is tied in punk roots, but it comes out more like a Bruce Springsteen-inspired sound more than a full punk album (and I am a fan of the Boss).
One song that sorta caught my attention right away was “Around Again” which seems to be about a friend or close relationship that is a bit fractured by the normalcy of life. In it, singer Jason Kotarski talks about losing this person while he is a musician and somehow the two just don’t connect enough for that person to show up at shows or call back.
It’s an interesting glimpse into two things for me - 1 - Kotarski’s own experience as a musician that has to deal with the responsibilities of adulthood (and friends that do too), and 2 - The pretty prevalent response that a lot of independent musicians get from their own “friends” when the bands/musicians ask for support by coming to shows or listening to their new music, etc…
It feels so pinpoint accurate at the hollowness one feels when rejection occurs, and I found it to be a bit of an anthem for indie artists.
“Come Down Hard” is probably the most “radio-friendly” song on the whole album as it is catchy as hell, and if you are only going to listen to one song to see how this album sounds, I would probably direct you to this song.
The band is from Grand Rapids, Michigan which may not mean much to anyone who doesn’t pay attention to regional “trends” in sounds, but the band has a good way of breaking away from the Midwest pop-punk sound of Ramones-core bands or even the Illinois style type of punk music. It’s a refreshing sound to my ears specifically.
Another song that really digs a bit deeper to me is “Static.” I am not going to try to fully break down the lyrics on this one as I feel it can have a different interpretation for different people, but I appreciate the use of speaking about sounds and static and keeping that idea throughout the song when talking about how people interact with each other at different points in their lives. Pretty cool stuff.
Not all the songs have deep and meaningful lyrics, I suppose, but the album has good tunes up and down this release, and I would suggest you check it out if you like solid rock songs with some thought-provoking lyrics.Recommended Songs: “Static”, “Come Down Hard”, “Around Again,” and “Read a Book and Take a Nap”