Is pop-punk poised for a revival in 2013? Both Paramore and Fall Out Boy have released comeback albums this year with generally positive results. Even though two stars from the genre’s mid-2000s heyday have returned it is highly unlikely we will see pop-punk return to its former status. It has faded, but pop-punk is certainly not dead. There are entire clothing lines dedicated to the genre and new bands that grew up listening to FOB and All Time Low.
From this new class of pop-punkers comes Late Nite Reading. The young crew hails from Carmel, IN with an average age of under 20. The four piece consists of Dalton Wixom leading the charge on vocals, synth, and rhythm guitar, Brady Szuhaj on bass and vocals, Drew Cottrell on drums, and Clayton Collins on Lead Guitar. In addition to well-received cover of Foster the People’s hit “Pumped Up Kicks” the band has released Cycles and Sounds and Dedicated to Deadlines, both EPs. The boys are obviously fans of extended plays, as they have now released their third with the Walls EP. The five-song effort is full of sugary pop hooks, heartfelt lyrics, and plenty of gang vocals.
Sometimes the lyrics may come across as a tad immature, but this is music by young people for young people (at least at heart). “Rumor” is an anthem extolling the joy of being young, free, and living through late nights. “Just How I Do It” tells of dealing with life’s trials through self-empowerment, which can be a detriment as much as it can be powerful for a young person. Some touches work better than other. The group “whoa-ohs” add to almost every track while the slightly spliced vocals on closer “Get Over It” are distracting.
The EP definitely does not break any new ground or shatter expectations by any means. Everything on Walls has been done before and will be done again. That being said, Late Nite Reading executes the songs on this album with heart and with precision, two vital aspects of quality pop-punk.