When the Wonder Years signed with Hopeless Records last year, I was stoked to hear they were planning to quickly follow up 2010's The Upsides with a 2011 release as part of the contractual agreement. If Hopeless' track record meant anything, it surely meant a mature album that held together based on the band's prior onslaught of impossibly catchy anthems -- and I wasn't let down.
But that's an understatement. Let's try something a little more positive: TWY have delivered their best performance to date on Suburbia: I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing. If you can say anything about TWY, it's that they're consistent. Every new TWY song makes at least 30 rounds on my iTunes for the first couple of weeks, and I couldn't even put a number on how long those tunes stay on rotation in my brain.
With SIGYAANIN (yeah, I went for it), TWY delivers more mature lyrics that continue the honest coming-of-age narrative of Soupy and the gang. Musically, you get much the same as The Upsides in terms of hooks and edge, but the former adds a little more diversity in songwriting. What really sets this band apart from most of the crap pop-punk out there is the sheer honesty and passion behind the songs -- an aesthetic reflected in the band's live performance.
What you get out of SIGYAANIN is an album that parallels how the band has struggled to grow both musically and personally, hitting you on your level with heartfelt and simultaneously angst-ridden and hopeful music. I'm 26, and I barely have the stomach for the teenage pop-punk of yore -- but this is a masterpiece that transcends the age-gap. Go buy it...for yourself and for the kid in you.
"Hey Jess, I woke up older carrying two years in the bags under my eyes / Hey Jess, I watched you wake up and get dressed. You left the room, receded like my hairline." - The Wonder Years, "Woke Up Older"