Get Lost is a new full length album from St. Louis based punk band, The Radio Buzzkills. The group really has mastered an authentic, retro 90’s pop punk sound. As someone who was a teenager in the 90s, this album reminds me so much of the music we used to listen to as skaters (Rancid, Dance Hall Crashers, etc.) Still, the band has their own distinct vibe and don’t sound like a copy of any particular band. The recording itself is polished and professional, pretty much major label quality. The songs are refreshingly crystal clear though. They’re not littered with autotune and other processing crap the way most contemporary studio recordings are.
The guitars are really impressive right out of the gate with the first track, Tattletale, much better technically than what one would typically expect from this genre. All of the songs are very catchy and have memorable titles. Probably my favorite jam on here is The Vampire of Sacramento, with it’s memorable lyrics and dynamic melodies. Another sleeper hit is the instrumental track Shark Surfer, which I presume is a punk incarnation of the 60s instrumental surf tune style song.
A lot of these tracks have somewhat emo, romantic lyrics, but it’s difficult to tell how much of that stuff is serious and to what extent it’s merely a component of the ambiance. Similar to groups like The Aquabats and old school Blink 182, the emotional expression is often couched within outlandish lyrics (“She Died on That Deathstar.”) This keeps the material fun and approachable, while at the same time telling a story. I think what I really like about this album is the way each song has it’s own narrative. It’s like a pop punk audiobook collection of short stories. They all have that timeless teenage vibe, complaining about girlfriends, loneliness etc. Nothing dreary about any of this though. The music is lively and upbeat, although the songs themselves vary in speed, often kicking in and out of high gear multiple times within each track. I really enjoy the vocals as well. The singer doesn’t overdo the pop punk “whiny” voice the way cheesy bands like Blink 182 used to do. Instead he has a nice and gravelly voice that’s actually pleasant to listen to, and he can even sing.
All in all, this is really high quality output from a band that has totally mastered the aesthetic they’re trying to capture. This album is a work of pop punk art.
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