With two well-received EPs under their belts, the boys in With The Punches have high hopes for their debut album, Seams & Stitches, out July 3rd on Doghouse Records.
The pounding drums that open the album in the first few seconds of Riverside set the tone and energy for the entire album. Every element of Riverside indicates that the band is taking the most successful elements of modern Pop Punk and setting out to make a name for themselves with their debut. The next track, Bad Pennies, is a catchy, slightly bitter track about proving the world wrong. Harvard On The Hudson might just be the best track to introduce new fans to the band, serving as a conglomerate of everything fans love about With The Punches – catchy, energetic vocals with impressive musicianship that finds the perfect balance between jam-along Punk and more technically impressive genres. "Everyone I know just fell in love with being miserable” might be the most quotable line on the record, too.
The record continues with Postcards, a lyrically impressive, single-worthy break-up song that practically begs for a music video. Home In A Lighthouse opens with one of the best guitar riffs on the album, and the rest of the song holds up to the high standards set by its first few bars. Don’t Panic hits hard and fast, with the same personal lyricism that fans of the genre have come to hold in high esteem. I Told You Already comes in with a melody line far different than any other on the record, which breathes fresh life into Seams & Stitches as the record enters the second half. The aptly-titled New York Minute clocks in at fifty-one seconds, still finds time to say a lot and show off for the listener. The relatively softer Letting Go is the closest thing the record has to a romantic ballad, and the song’s energy picks up as additional layers enter the fold. The sharp, critical lyrics of Face Value leave the listener waiting for gang vocals that never come, but this is merely a minor offense. Cags ensures that With The Punches continues to try something new on every track even as the album wraps up, with a steady bass line and surprising solos, along with excellently executed harmonies and the gang vocals that had been absent earlier. The titular track closes out the album, continuing the band’s trend of memorable lyrics and really capturing the growth that the band has made in its short existence.
With the Punches have delivered 2012’s breakout Pop Punk debut in the form of Seams & Stitches; the record is polished, well-written and shows a youthful, energetic band in top form. It’s certainly still too early to call album of the year, but don’t be surprised when Seams & Stitches tops many Punk fans’ best lists come December.
Written by Frank Campisano IV