By Mike Shomaker, DC Music Live
Pop punk is alive and well, despite rumors that it’s slowly dying off like a herd of buffalo on the open range. Just last week, absolutepunk received 250,000 unique impressions when it previewed The Wonder Years’ new single, “Passing Through A Screen Door,” enough to crash the site for several minutes , i.e. an eternity in cyberspace. Since their formation in 2005, the Philly-based pop-punkers have strived to continuously outdo themselves, an arduous task for a group that has already put out some of the best hooks in the business. Their highly anticipated record, The Greatest Generation, which they call their best work to date, is set to release in May and already has fans biting at their heels.
From the front seat of their van—the pop-punk rock outfit’s version of a dorm room, Dan “Soupy” Campbell elaborates on his feelings about TGG.
“We always want to step up our game. On a whole, I think it’s lyrically stronger, it’s more personal. Melodically, I concentrated on trying to space out some of the vocal lines to give it some room to breath.”
For better or worse, the days of one guitar, bass and drums seem to be slowly dying off. According to Campbell, there’s more instrumental experimentation on the new record as well. “This record is a lot more bass heavy,” he says. “We started growing into the idea of three guitars. There’s more piano and bells.”
“Because of some lineup changes, this is the second record where the six of us could sit down again and make it happen,” chimes in bassist Josh Martin, who had quietly been sitting in the backseat playing on his iPad. “We were able to focus more on what we wanted to do.”
Though every TWY record to date has proved to be a calculated, dynamic work of pop-punk mastery, their live show is a bit less combed. It’s raw, sweaty and
impassioned. But most importantly, it’s genuine.
“If you’re up there faking it, everyone’s going to know. We just try to be as honest and passionate as possible because that’s how we feel about our music,” Martin says. “It’s a chance for us to release all that pent up emotion.”
A crammed Empire belted out songs spanning the entire catalog for a sweaty, emotive ninety minutes. Mosh pits stirred, relaxed and stirred again as a continuous rotation climbed on stage and leapt haphazardly into the front row. To some mild disappointment, TWY didn’t perform any new songs but Campbell promised that they would soon be back for Warped Tour. The band is scheduled to play the main stage for all dates.
If you haven’t checked out The Wonder Years, do so ASAP and be on the lookout for their new album, The Greatest Generation, which releases via Hopeless May 14.
Thanks to Josh Martin and Dan Campbell for taking the time to talk to DCML.
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