Both real life and internet Joel like to talk about the state of millennial rock music a lot. There’s no point in skirting around it or dressing it up as something else. It’s not quite emo, though a lot of these bands will find themselves labeled as such. The millennial rock genre has a feel that is unique to this generation. This subgenre is made up of bands like Heart Attack Man, The Obsessives, Prince Daddy & The Hyena, etc — all bands that are equally as informed by bands like Weezer and Third Eye Bind as they are Modern Baseball and Say Anything. The end result is a handful of records packed with giant fuzzed out pop songs that pack just enough bite behind these deliberately anthemic hooks. Heart Attack Man perfected a darker take on the genre with the release of Fake Blood earlier this year, Prince Daddy & The Hyena will unleash their masterful epoch, Cosmic Thrill Seekers, unto the world, and somber-rockers Summerbruise has trusted me with their latest EP, Always Something ahead of its release this Friday.
On Always Something, Summerbruise sounds like if Jake Ewald sang Bren’s half of Modern Baseball’s magnum opus, Holy Ghost. The songwriting is saccharine and hyper-personal and the vocals are warm enough that you can’t help but see them as a welcome invitation into a perspective other than your own. Lead single, “Stop The World I Want to Goof Off” won me over based on the title alone, but I was more than pleasantly surprised by the sheer power of the song itself. I was immediately swept up in the lyrics “If I were you, I’d hate me too. So I guess we’re pretty lucky I’m not you, cause I hate you too. And the last thing I want to see is movies of my dreams because they’re usually dumb and someone always leaves.”
It’s this simple, cut the fat kind of storytelling that I love. It’s personal enough that you can feel every ounce of emotion in the delivery of these lyrics but universal enough that you can cling to them. It’s cynical but self-deprecating, which is very much my shit. It’s also exactly what millennial rock should be: it’s verbose and over the top without taking itself too seriously.
“Bury Me at Penn Station” has a moment where the theme-song to Drake & Josh is sung. This brief moment of youthful levity that informs the record as a whole. It’s both somber and explosive — a detailed look at both the mundanity of reality and the healing power of catharsis that can be provided through music. Summerbruise doesn’t want to linger in the realm of sadness, they’d rather be a faint light in the distance that reminds you that things aren’t all that bad.
You can stream Always Something below before the band self-releases this puppy on June 13th.