“I’m not a saint despite my best intentions.”
On their latest EP, Strange Soul, Reckless Serenade seem to have hit their stride. The pop punkers deliver six cohesive jams just in time for summer and a stint on Warped Tour.
At times the New York band sounds like an early version of Pierce the Veil, especially on opening track “Out Here”, combining punchy lyrics with sweaty concert-ready melodies. Their sound is unabashedly pop punk—all thrashing guitars and strong pounding percussion—with a good dose of passion. “What Is Good” is destined to become a fan favorite with a sing-along chorus, head-bopping drumbeats, and handclaps that will make any live performance a memorable experience. The EP’s main theme of learning to accept yourself is most prevalent on the boisterous “Fools Gold” and the emotive closer, “Background”, which features vocalist Cory Brent crooning the line “we can’t fight the storm, but we sure can brave the weather”.
The only downfall is that the songs tend to blend together during the first few listens, and it takes a while for them to really sink in as separate tracks. While I loved the standard “pop punk-y-ness” of “Poltergeist” and could easily see it fitting into just about every other playlist I have, I kept forgetting what “With Friends Like These” sounded like. Still, it’s a solid effort from the band and this label debut shows their potential to become huge—in a few years, they could reach the same heights as some of the scene’s other heavyweights.
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it? Stream it. As effective as these songs are recorded, they’re going to be even more fun to dance along to at a live show, so make sure you catch them at Warped!