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Best Intentions

The Loser's Club

Review by Gary Hill

Call it "pop punk" or call it "emo." Either way, I have to admit that I don't really get it. A big part of the punk concept was the angst. When you change the vocals for clean, poppy vocals that sound cheery, it just seems pointless. All that out of the way, there is some solid music here. For people who have a higher opinion of the genre than I do, this will probably be especially appealing. There are songs here that can even win me over, so that says that there is a real strength to this. Like most of the music in the genre, it does have a tendency toward being formulaic. That only becomes an issue at a few points here. Besides, a lot of people listen to music one song at a time these days. For those people, it will never come into play at all.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Ghosted
This is just a short thing with a call being made to the wrong number. There is a bit of music at the end along with a "what the...." that earns a parental advisory.
Wrong Way Out
The opening riff on this makes me think of AC/DC just a bit, but with more of a pure punk edge. There is a real energy and intensity to this screamer. The vocals bring more of a pop rock element to the table. This gets heavier later, and it gets another advisory for the lyrics.
At the Ocean
The guitar sound that opens this is mean. The vocals have  modern alternative pop vibe to them. This cut is sort of like punk-light in terms of overall sound. If you remove the vocals, though, it becomes a lot more real punk. Not to be out-done, this also gets an advisory for the lyrics.
Twisted
There is an electronic edge to the opening here, making it feel very much like emo. This has a more modern pop rock sound to it. It's catchy, but not one of my favorites here. The trend of getting a warning for the lyrics continues here. The energy on this is good. It's just too pop-oriented for my tastes.
Roses
The guitar sound on this is quite strong. The cut is a solid and energetic one. The vocals bring it more into the pop rock zone. The vocal hooks are starting to seem a bit repetitive by this point, weakening the tune a bit. That's a shame because this could be a highlight. This avoids the parental advisory that seemed obligatory by now.
Would You Be Proud of Me Now?
A mellower cut, this is not quite a ballad, but it is built more on the melodic end of the world. It gets more rocking later as it fires outward. This is another without an advisory.
Welcome To...
Just about 30 seconds long, this is just a short interlude of oddities.
The Loser's Club
A smoking hot riff brings the title track into being. This is another pop punk tune. It's not a big departure from the rest. In fact, by this point the formula is starting to wear a bit thin. Still, taking by itself this is a good tune. It does get another parental advisory. I dig the shouted vocal section.
Wet Cement
This works a bit better. It's still set very much in the same school of sound. It just happens to gel quite well and have some strong hooks.
All Wrong

This is one of the meanest and real punk cuts here. It's also a highlight of the disc. This even has some death metal vocals later. It's a real powerhouse.

I Wanna Go Home
The parental advisory trigger on this number is quite blatant. The tune is a lot poppier than some of the rest here. While this is catchy, and a bit fun, it's also a little samey. Still, the guitar work saves the track from mediocrity, making it a reasonably effective closer.
 
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