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Album Premiere: The Way Way Back, ‘Party Like It’s 1999’

“We are growing old, but we’re not growing up”

I don’t know too many bands that stick to their guns and personal mantras as ferociously as Kansas City pop punkers The Way Way Back. You may know The Way Way Back from their catchy tunes, emotionally heavy lyrics (fuck you, Jesse Lacey), or from getting hit in the face with a Capri Sun pouch at one of their shows. You may also not know The Way Way Back… and that should change! They’ve made it easy for you with the premiere of their latest album, Party Like It’s 1999.

“[At age ten] you begin truly carving out your own identity. It starts with little stuff: you’re from a Twizzlers family but realize you prefer Red Vines; your siblings love playing sports but you’d rather stay inside reading Harry Potter; or, perhaps most importantly, you realize that you’re developing a taste in music that’s totally unique to YOU! Sure, you still love it when Mom and Dad put on Paul Simon, and you can’t help but hum along when your little brother blasts The Goofy Movie soundtrack for the ten thousandth time, but you just discovered this new band called blink-182, and their guitars are fuzzy, and their drums are fast, and they sing like Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they say bad words, and suddenly you’re a different person than you were before” muses frontman Ben Wendt.

In perfect alignment with their brand, The Way Way back packaged four masterfully crafted original takes on some classic 1999 hits. The quick listen is dense with dynamic attitude and a genuine sense of “fun”. If this quartet does one thing, it’s sparking a party anywhere they play (and anywhere their music is played). With the goal of simply letting loose and having a good time, nothing compares to the Hawaiian shirt clad, confetti popping, mic twirling antics of Wendt on stage; and that’s the vibe that Party Like It’s 1999 elicits. So bump up your speakers, press play, and do a dumb little dance… it’s Friday, and I think we all need an album like this today.

If you’re in the Kansas City area tonight (March 8th), The Way Way Back will be playing a March Of Dimes benefit show at the Rino!