Home Wrecked are regarded by many Pop Punk heads as one of the UK’s biggest prospects.
I’d be inclined to agree. After all, 2016’s ‘When All Goes Wrong’ marks five tracks of full-blooded, high octane material shot from the same barrel as WSTR, Roam et al. Two years later, and they’re back with sophomore effort ‘Try What You Want, Just Make Sure It Works’.
This title seems to be pretty apt. The raw materials that make me return to their debut time and time again are still there in spades, yet there’s been a momentum shift towards a more measured and emotive approach. It’s quite possibly the first time this humble publication will use the word ‘mature’ to describe a band so definitively Pop Punk. But, strike me dead (or don’t, either way) they have matured, though sections throughout the record like the opening of closing number ‘Stepping Stones’ are bouncy as ever.
Sonically, this release is a marked move away from the Easycore school of song-writing I would previously have grouped Home Wrecked into (think Chunk! No Captain Chunk, older A Day To Remember and Four Year Strong etc counterpointed by a more British flavour). What this leaves us with as a listener is more freedom to follow Joe’s lyrics and appreciate the depth of field in production. It’s well-balanced, the guitars sounding chunky where they need to yet delicate and interwoven where needed, rhythm section driving us through with just enough pep to keep things spicy.
quite possibly the first time this humble publication will use the word ‘mature’ to describe a band so definitively Pop Punk
Lyrically, Home Wrecked have always been a stand-out. Their songs have a tendency to land in a manner rapidly becoming synonymous with contemporary Pop Punk, dealing with difficult and transitional subjects while simultaneously leaving behind an uplifting feeling. Even slow number and single ‘Nothing Like You’, featuring acoustic guitars and a sparkling guest vocal from Christina Rotondo, manages to play into this bittersweet feeling despite its despairing lyrics. And no, it’s not really a schadenfreude experience… perhaps just particularly resonant with all of our experiences of difficult breakups – there’s obvious pain there and yet a burgeoning optimism that we will overcome. That this music is a therapy.
Try what you want, guys, just make sure it works like this does.
‘Try What You Want, Just Make Sure It Works’ is available now as a digital download from the usual suspects.