Should we? Or should we leave something to the imaginationnnnnn
by Ali Killian, edited by Erik van Rheenen
In this resurgence of pop-punk popularity, so many band names are thrown around it’s hard to keep track sometimes. Monikers such as The Story So Far, Handguns and Gnarwolves began clogging up my Facebook feed all at once, thanks to friends constantly gushing over them. Like many, I imagine, I wanted to delve into this generation of pop-punk, but was so overwhelmed with options I didn’t know where to start. Hell, even though I’ve listened to the entire Spotify discographies of two out of those three bands multiple times (Gnarwolves is still on my to-listen-to list) — and I liked what I heard — I still don’t know their music well enough to sing along at shows. Or, in some cases, I’m not able to tell Pop-Punk band A apart from Pop-Punk band B without spending countless free days I don’t have studying their nuanced differences.
Music from different bands can start to sound the same in mass quantities, pop-punk or not. Thanks to past experience, I figured it would be the same with Light Years. And at first, it was. Listening to 2012’s Just Between Us… and 2013’s I Won’t Hold This Against You, Light Years sounded to me very, very similar to old-school pop-punk greats like New Found Glory and blink-182, especially with how damn catchy the Ohio quartet’s music is.
However, with its new EP, Light Years has definitively broken away from its influences and contemporaries. Temporary showcases Pat Kennedy’s fully fleshed-out vocal identity, whole and polished, delivering thoughtful lyrics amidst individually distinguishable instrumentals slung from guitarist Andrew Foerst, bassist Tommy Englert and drummer Kent Sliney. Each instrument’s role is well defined and well executed, making Temporary easy to digest without sacrificing quality in craftsmanship. While each song produces one large sound, the focus is not on the whole but on the interaction between the parts – shout out to pop-punk production master Will Yip (Braid, La Dispute, Tigers Jaw).