"Miles Apart" is 5 minutes long ... never gonna be a single. But it is probably the catchiest, straight up pop-punk, chorus.
Dunno what progression it showcases though.
That's true. I'd say that or "We Will Wait in the Fog" would be the best plays for the mainstream. Maybe "Anchor." I don't know.
And I couldn't see "Miles Apart" (or most of the songs on this record, for that matter) on any of their earlier albums. The guitar work is completely different throughout most of the record. War Paint especially was built around these thick walls of guitar sound that didn't really fluctuate that much. I think the musical arrangements are a lot more nuanced and meticulous this time around, and I think "Miles Apart" is sort of the epitome of that. The guitar parts are way more rhythmic and effects-laden, and I think the songs sound bigger and more arena-oriented as a result. It's obviously cut from a similar cloth as far as songwriting is concerned, but I think the new guys definitely make an impression on the band's sound that wasn't there in the past.
And AJ really isn't writing melodies the same way either. Reach for the Sun was more meandering in its songwriting style. The verses really seemed like stream-of-consciousness writing, meant more to deliver the emotive lyrics than to really stand alone as melodies. And on War Paint, he toned down on that a bit and really focused on bridges instead. I think all my favorite moments of that album are the bridge sections. That's where he put his most emotional lyrics. This time around, the songs have been tightened and honed in a way that I think they lean on the choruses more than anything else. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing will depend on the listener, but I definitely think the writing was streamlined in a more straightforward pop-rock/arena-rock direction.