It’s time to pick up again and take a look at part two of my top 15 albums of 2020, let’s dive in!
6 20/20 – Knuckle Puck (released 18-9-2020)
The third release by the Emo/pop punk band. “20/20” takes their flavor of pop punk to new levels. The band seems to be seeing things in a brighter light than on their previous album “Shapeshifter”
Going in a more upbeat and fast on “20/20” the band seems to step away from or at least change up their more dreamy emo sound. Seeing things in clear and looking forward.
Lyrically the band also makes a total shift or Shapeshift.. being less melancholy and more positive, instead of talking about being stuck in the same place, the band is looking forward and on the move.
Showing their changing sounds vocalist Joe Taylor seems to be more focused on his clean vocals instead of the emotional highs we know from earlier releases.
From album opener “20/20” to the energetic “RSVP” and calming “Breathe” featuring guest vocals from “Derek Sander” Knuckle Puck is showing their still in the game
My favorite songs of the album are “Sidechain”, “RSVP” and “What Took You So Long”
7 Imposter Syndrome – Happy. (released 30-10-2020)
The second release by the three headed pop punk band. Happy takes their flavor of pop punk to new highs. The band seems to step away from their easycore and altrock inspired sound on 2018s “Cult Classic” into a more Emo and pop driven direction while still elaborating on their some of their core sounds.
The tonal shift of on “Imposter Syndrome” suits the band and feels in a way as a maturing of their sound, with songs less inspired by goofy movies and pop culture and more inspired by personal experience, and the band even takes some grunge elements into their sound.
Lyrically the album is contrasting with the band name, happy seems to be in fact not very happy and more plagued by sleepiness’s and mental issues, as the album title already makes abundantly clear.
From the pop punk ”A Cure Wellness”, to the grungy tunes of “Liarliar” and the acoustic sadness of “Black Picket Fence” Happy shows they are growing their sound and I want to see where they will take it in the future.
My favorite songs of the album are “A Cure Wellness”, “Dull Boy” and “After School Special”
8 Hello It’s You – Bearings (released 20-11-2020)
The second full album by the band, “Hello It’s You” doesn’t break much new ground in comparison to their 2018 release “Blue in the Dark” but does seem to do everything the band did even better.
Keeping it fast paced and catch, the band delivers a collection of summer tunes that keep stuck in your head. Going clearly not forgetting the pop in pop punk. Length- wise the album is a short, but that just adds to wanting more.
Lyrically the band seems to have a little more fun on the album, in contrast to the more moody undertones of their debut, love songs are featured but more with an eye on letting go than to well in Misery.
Starting with the pop punk tunes of “Better Yesterday”, going to the harder hitting “Sway” and synths of “Super Deluxe. “Bearings” doesn’t fall victim to the sophomore slum.
My favorite songs of the album are “Sway”, “Super Deluxe” and “Transient Colours”
9 GLUE- Boston Manor (released 1-5-2020)
Album number three by the British alt rockers, GLUE has the band step away from the dystopian and melancholy world the created on “Welcom to the neighborhood” and instead point their arrows to problems in our current society.
On “GLUE” the band trades their more mellow pop tunes for a 90s alt rock approach, with clear influences from grunge, Alt Metal but also britpop given sharp contrast to their previous sounds.
Lyrically the band rips off the band aid of our conferrable lives and deals with problems such as modern celebrity culture and how we treat celebrities, as well as our view of masculinity
Kicking in from album starter grungy “Everything is Ordinary” to the more pop influenced “Plasticine Dreams”, the darker tones “Only1” and even the guest feature of John Floreani” on “Liquid “Boston Manor” wants us to think about the state of the world and be the “GLUE” to put it back together.
My Favorite songs of the album are “1’s & 0’s”, “Only1” and “Liquid”
10 Big Vibe – Seaway (released 16-10-2020)
The fourth full length release by the Canadian pop punk band, the band elaborates on the summer vibes of 2017 release “Vacation”
Pop punk with surf vibes seems to be the MO for seaway but “Big Vibe” also introduces 80’s power-ballad influences to the forefront. The instrumentation seems the have mellowed out a bit in contrast with earlier releases but still keeps a hard hitting energy to it.
Lyrically the songs have made a 360 change, instead of stories about lost loves and dreams of making it big, “Big Vibe” is drenched in Self-pity and fixing relationships. All sugar coated in up-tempo pop punk.
If it’s the surfy tones of “Big Vibe”, the 80s feel of “Mrs.David” or the emotional loaded “Wild Things” “Seaway” is showing us how they polished their sound to be the best version of themselves.
My Favorite songs of the album are “Mrs.David” , “Still Blue” and “Peach”