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Review by Emillie Marvel | February 9, 2016 at 2:00 PM

“You will be proud of what I’ll become.”

San Francisco’s Worth Taking are making run of the mill pop punk–with a little bit of an infectious beat and a whole lot of guitar riffs. While their sound might have been done before, the real focus of their new album Hangman is how each of the 12 songs correlate with the 12 step program.

After slightly deafening us with a hard and heavy intro (step five feet away from your sound system before hitting play), step one, “Honest”, sets the tone for the album as it lyrically comes to terms with mistakes made while showing far more passion in the words than in the instrumentals. The rest of the album continues relating the emotions created by recovery, alongside a hopeful albeit standard alt rock sound. The themes weren’t transferred to the music behind them–giving off a half hearted urgency through notes far removed from the intensity of the lyrics.

The exception to this rule is the very pop punk third track, “Count On You”. It’s a suburban summer wrapped up in a few chords, with hard hitting lyrics. Coming in at one minute and fifty seconds, it’s the best on the collection, but could use a little more time to rock your speakers.

The collection rounds out with Steps 11 and 12. Vocalist Jerod McBrayer takes his time with asking for forgiveness on “Let Me Try Again”, a song that finally breaks through the clouds with a sound that could be like Jack’s Mannequin, if it had more piano power. Then “This One’s For You” returns to an unvaried sound to end the collection.

Buy It, Skip It, Stream It: Stream it when you need a helping hand around the darker corners of life.

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