I like pop punk for what it is, and I have no problem admitting that it starts to feel very formulaic in a short span of time. It’s very easy to get lost into the two very different, but strikingly similar sides of the genre. On one hand, we’ve got bands that came up with acts like blink-182 and New Found Glory as the spearheads of the genre. On the other, we’ve got the kids who came up with The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, and Man Overboard. Influence tends to bleed through in this genre, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find newer artists to listen to that don’t feel like a re-hash of something I listened to five years ago.
Seasons Change is a band that’s doing the genre right. Influence is present in the lyrical content and delivery, but it isn’t overpowering. You can tell which artists played a hand in shaping Seasons Change, but something about they way this band operates feels fresh. The vocals are something different for the genre. I go into listening to most pop punk expecting shouty, rough vocals. Seasons Change however, give us a smooth, soulful delivery that will definitely catch unexpecting ears and illicit a full listen.
Their debut album ‘Please Don’t Leave’ is twelve songs full of power and emotion. Anthony Robels is on the road to becoming one of the biggest vocal powerhouses of the genre, and hearing his vocals is what truly gives this release an edge. There are so many tracks on this record where his vocals just soar. I could go on forever about how much I love his voice, and how I hope that Seasons Change becomes a big part of this new wave of bands alongside the likes of Knuckle Puck. Speaking solely in terms of success, if this band plays their cards right, I could very easily see them becoming the Pierce The Veil of pop punk.
Some of the best songs on this record come early on. “Hope This Stains” is the second track on the album and it just feels so huge. This was released as a single from the record already, and I hope that it becomes a staple in the live show. The song is fast, the vocals and lyrics are great, and the drums hit you in the best way. The next song will certainly catch your ear is “Valentine.” This was probably the only proper single on the album. It saw a music video, and it easily contains the most personal and gut wrenching lyrics on the album. This track sees Robels coping with the loss of a close friend, and the emotion behind the belting “But you won’t wake up/so I’ll hold my breath until you do” and “I don’t care if I’m selfish like a child, I want you back” will leave you with a lump in your throat. You don’t know if you want to sit in somber acceptance or just sing these lyrics back at him. This track is written so well, and it’s without question my favorite from ‘Please Don’t Leave.’
When I first heard “Need To Know” it felt like I was listening to “The Truth About Heaven” for the first time again. The songs are similar in both structure and sound, but that’s only earning Seasons Change points in my book. “The Truth About Heaven” is in the Top 10 Songs of My Life category, and to be able to get the same feeling I did when I first heard that song for the first time again is incredible.
“Not Sorry” closes the album, and it’s the closest I’ve come to a guilty pleasure in a little while. The lyrics in this track don’t grab me as much as others on the album, but I’ll be damned if I don’t admit to singing along to “Don’t ask me if I think about you/I do/just not in the way you want me to” and “I’m not sorry/I’m better than ever without you.” It sounds so full of middle school angst, but I find myself loving it more and more with each listen. It’s a great way to close the album though, because it’s a guaranteed “go out with a bang” situation. Those lyrics will be stuck in your head for days, I can promise you that.
Seasons Change will hopefully become a household name with the release of ‘Please Don’t Leave.’ They’ve got everything that has helped launch other bands into the spotlight, with the marvel of Robels’ pipes going for them too. As long as those singles make their way into kids ears, there’s no reason this band shouldn’t see success. They’ve got a bright future ahead of them, and I can’t help but to hope people catch onto this band quick.