New Ends Drop an Absolute Banger of a Debut Album on the Rest of the World
4.8 out of 5 stars
The alt-punk rock band New Ends from Corpus Christi, Texas just put out their debut album titled Everything’s Better on Friday, August 5th, 2022, and it is an absolute banger. It is legitimately good from start to finish with songs that range in tempo, tone, and even have some added spoken word selections within the album for an even more impactful lyrical injection.
Their blend of West Coast punk music mixed with Pacific Northwest grunge and tinged with Texas rock is a great blend. Overall, their sound is pretty similar to one of my other favorite bands, Decent Criminal.
The general concept of the album seems to be a diary of relationship issues whether it is with friends, lovers or a strained relationship with a father.
The first song that’s not an intro track is called “Punch Drunk,” and it is high energy for almost the entire song until the fading out at the end. It’s also the first of a few songs on the album that deal with lead singer Brandan Platz’s relationship with his dad.
In this particular song, it feels like he is using the burden of a bad parental relationship to patch up a shaky relationship with a woman who he keeps “failing,” for lack of a better word, in their relationship. It’s got a lot of speakers in the song though. So, it feels like a personal moment being portrayed in the moment with only a little bit of context in order to keep the actual details a bit obscured.
The next song on the album is “The Youth,” and it rocks pretty damn hard as well. The line, “This is my new reality, please don’t say you're proud of me,” is pretty fitting for this whole album.
Next up is the song “Americano” which has some stellar riffs and tempo changing that makes it a compositional centerpiece of the album. The song is seemingly more of a dealing with the emotional ups and downs of life and how to deal with emotions when you would rather get angry but know it’s not the right thing to do.
With the lyrics, you don’t have to listen to them intently to get the jist of what songs are about though, and I think that is sort of how Platz keeps it for the most part - detailed enough to convey the situation, but a bit vague as to not overcomplicate the song. It’s pretty interesting and subtly genius as far as how songwriting works with a rock band.
“Manifested This” is one of the songs that describes the relationship between Platz and I think is his wife or girlfriend where he is describing their relationship and subsequent wedding. In the song, he is at a loss for words how to explain how he feels, but the song is sort of the wedding vows - or the punk rock version of such.
It is a great tune as well. A great mix of a personal/intimate situation brought into a public-facing song.
The album continues to rock pretty fast and hard from start to finish up to the point where the “Safe to Say Interlude” comes in.
That’s the point where a piano comes in to sort of break up the sides of the album as this is the start of the B-side (or part 2) of the album. The spoken word poetry foreshadows the feeling (and style) of the rest of the album.
The song that follows (“Safe to Say”) is an acoustic guitar and piano heavy track that is a stark contrast to the first half of the album, but it absolutely works really well and sounds great. The guitar breakdown towards the end of the song is one of my favorite moments in the album. It reminds me a lot of the second guitar on Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”
If you are bothered by slower songs, well, don’t worry because the next song “Chew. Spit. Choke” gets right back into the action.
There are no minced words on this song though, Platz is outright states what he wants to say. Lines like these really cement the sentiment of this whole album:
And as the chorus states:
If you like to mosh, you will get a kick out of the song “Quite Fuckin’ Frank.” Fast, full of angry lyrics, a bit of a scream part, and then it’s over as fast as it starts.
The rest of the album is definitely a showcase of the diversity of the band’s sound from the spacey rock sound of “i’m doing ok” to the spoken word verses of “Apples to a Tree” in which Platz creates the scene of his father reading him a letter that bleeds into a response on the song “Everything’s Better.”
Platz supplants himself in the graphic artwork and even music videos of the band through a character called “Spanx” who is a skeleton-masked person (or skeleton in some forms). It is a great way to put the graphic/visual media into a metaphorical avatar of the music/lyrics of the album.
This is a band I will be excited to see grow over the years, because this album is absolutely insane, and I can’t believe that one record label (Otitis Media Records) has a band like this and Dropped Out on the same label.
Those guys have a great ear for music, and I am excited to see what else they release on that label now.