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ALBUM REVIEW: WORRIERS, ‘SURVIVAL POP’

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SideOneDummy

Brooklyn punk outfit Worriers – expertly comprised of Lauren Denitzio, Mikey Erg, Rachel Rubino, Audrey Zee Whitesides, John McLean, Lou Hanman, and Nick Psillas, with a host of others – is gearing up to release a twelve track album titled Survival Pop – their first since 2015’s Imaginary Life – at the end of the month. We got our ears on it, so we could give you the down low on what to expect when September 29th rolls around. (Hint: Maybe get in on that preorder action.)

“My 85th Rodeo” seems a little against the punk scene title-wise and it certainly begins the album on a slower, simpler note, but it quickly ramps up with the lyrics “I hate everything” and layers in that rough, electric punk sound that Worriers is known for. “Not Your Type” is about to be the next singles’ anthem, and we are 100% on board with it. Take it as you may, but this song actually sounds like a Barenaked Ladies recording. (Hey, we know they’ve had some issues over the years but we’re still down with their music.) Quick hitting from the start, you may need to listen to this track a few times to memorize the intricate lyrics. “The Possibility” has an upbeat, 90’s reminiscent sound, with the highlight lyric “in between anxiety and hindsight” really drawing the listener in. Fourth track “Gaslighter” has already been released to rave reviews, so there might not be much we can say that hasn’t been said, but the instrumentals grab on to your heart and kind of throw you through a loop with their intensity.

How do you recover from that?

“What We’re Up Against” is how. The quick, staccato beat of the drum starts and you feel like you’re in 1960’s London for most likely no reason at all. Upbeat and encouraging, the message is clear: you have nothing to prove to anyone. Take it and run with it, but make sure to try on “Future Me” for size as well, as it maintains the quick, light tempo that its predecessor laid out. This song also seems to be the amalgamation of Denitizio’s approach to the album, as they explained, “I wrote the majority of the songs on this record thinking about what past versions of myself would’ve needed or been listening to at different points in my life.”

“Self Esteemed” is particularly notable for its crashing drums and is such a fun song that you can’t help but move to it. Until you hear the word “presumptuous,” and then decide to really analyze the lyrics. And that’s the thing with Worriers, they will always have this insane lyrical aspect to their tracks because they utilize their entire vocabulary and make music that’s both highly educated and enlightening. “No Thanks” follows suit lyrically, but it’s much slower, taking you to another level of vulnerability. Ninth track “Glutton (Reprise)” brings with it a smooth, summertime vibe while “WTF Is Sleep” – while first a little off-putting, as we aren’t all all about modern acronyms – has an easy-going sound to it as well, the vocals feeling more staccato and quick than anything else.

“Best Fear Worst Fantasy” gives no impression that it needs to build to its sound. It starts off at an intense tempo, making it the most mosh-worthy track from the album. (In case you need any clues for when you undoubtedly go see them live.) We can only imagine the line “I hope I never have any children” might give your mother a heart attack if you’re found singing this song anywhere near the family. (So do it.) Worriers rounds out Survival Pop with the track “Open Heart”, the snare correctly introducing the track like an insane heartbeat. The bass brings with it this robust, freeing feeling that Denitzio’s lyrics exude elsewhere. This was absolutely the best song to end on, leaving a positive and inspirational impression on its listeners, which is ultimately what the band was going for. Expands Denitzio, “I think we’re all probably having a tough time right now and I hope that the songs on the record can be intentionally uplifting and cathartic.”

Well played, Worriers. We can’t wait to see it all live!

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