Late Nite Wars - Who's Going To Miss You If You Go?
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Record Label: Panic Records
Sometimes reviewers go overboard by trying to justify why they think a record is good. It's easy to call a band "different" or "unique" just to say those things, or to praise a band for doing something specific when really they're doing for the most part what everyone else is doing. Truth is, sometimes records are really good just because they are.
Boston's Late Nite Wars aren't making pop punk all that different from the norm. Kevin Quinn's vocals are soaring at times while a little more gruff at others. Erik Lipson and Eddie Andre play guitar parts that aren't going to make your jaw drop anytime soon. John Hadley's drums and Aaron Bernard's bass form a very respectable rhythm section, but they aren't rewriting any books on the matter.
Truth is, Who's Going To Miss You If You Go?, the band's first full-length and second release for Panic Records, is just a solid collection of 11 songs all the way through. The Northeastern punk influences are evident enough, and the album gives off a decidedly DIY attitude all the way through. Although I haven't wholeheartedly delved into the group's back catalog, I did give their previous work a listen and it's no contest whatsoever: this full-length is Late Nite Wars' best output so far.
On "Work Isn't Working," Quinn lets out some personal troubles that should be relatable enough to plenty of twenty-somethings out there: "When you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders / But you're still expected to do every single thing they say / It's time we set this straight, we're gonna get repaid." The real hook comes in the chorus, when Quinn's slightly whiskey-drenched vocals come through with a weight on them: "I'm so sick of walking on broken glass for you."
Only a handful of songs cross the 3-minute mark, as the entire album chimes in at about 28 and a half minutes. The short and sweet style suits Late Nite Wars just fine, but the band doesn't collapse when it enters that fourth minute. Opener "This Is How You Disappear" is definitely a highlight, while cries of "I'm so tired of treading water just to keep from going under" make "Death By Routine" a memorable track.
Late Nite Wars' youth is evident. Whether it's silly song titles like "Bored In Backseats Beats Bored In Board Meetings" or "Aye Dios Mio, Adios Mi Hijo," which is the fantastic closer, or just their overtly youthful and hope-infused sound, it's clear this band has a lot to look forward to. On their first full-length, they're really just settling down. But an important thing is that they aren't trying to push the envelope by doing something ridiculous. Late Nite Wars is making good punk-ish pop punk, and even though Who's Going To Miss You If You Go? is not going to define the genre, you can just listen to it because you like it. That's what I'll be doing.