There’s just enough piss and vinegar to show that these pop punks are just as punk as you.
Punk rock fans rejoice! In an oversaturated market of pop-tinged punk, it’s an easy to think that it may be difficult for any one band to stand out. The Bombpops, however, are that standout band. This women-fronted coed four-piece revels in speedy, snotty and infectiously catchy punk for anybody who digs a good hook and loves their music fast. Fear of Missing Out, the band’s first full length, doesn’t pretend to be anything else than what it is: a power chord-fueled, simple-riffed distortion fest. Considering bands have been doing that for ages now, when an album comes along that makes most punk bands look like amateurs, you’ve got something special on your hands.
“Capable of Lies” kicks Fear of Missing Out off in all its pogo-worthy glory. This hopper of an opener begins as fairly standard pop punk fare, but once the pace picks up a bit into a mid-tempo jog the chorus will knock your proverbial socks off. The layered, harmonized, sugary backing vocals are so well executed that if you’re not already committed to diving into the rest of the album, you will be. For all of you hook lovers, tracks like “Be Sweet,” “Forever Since” and “All in a Day’s Lurk” will satisfy your desire for a melody to latch on to. These tracks are well-done quintessential pop punk album could-be singles that could find themselves on mainstream radio easily. Considering these tunes are peppered sparsely throughout the record, however, it’s clear that the pop side of punk was not the only goal.
“CA in July” is the first of many tracks throughout Fear of Missing Out that pack all the attitude and not-give-a-fuckness of punk rock into incredibly listenable two-minute long packages. Let’s not forget about the speed of these tracks either. The pace of these songs can stand up to Lagwagon or No Use for a Name’s skate punk and hold their own. (For those unfamiliar with those two bands, that means they’re fast). “Sweet of Sorrow,” “FOMO,” “Watch Me Fold” and “Marry. Fuck. Kill” deliver the speed, the hooks and the riffs beautifully in songs about getting piss drunk, being left behind and totally rolling with the punches despite the shittiest of circumstances. Punk rock standards, sure, but the Bombpops do them well enough that they will feel new again.
For an added bonus, the band drops the pop completely for “I Can’t” and “Brake Lights” in favor of short, mean, straight-up punk rock songs. There’s yellin,’ there’s swearin’ and there’s just enough piss and vinegar to show that these pop punks are just as punk as you. These are cred-boosters for sure.
Fear of Missing Out doesn’t redefine the genre. It doesn’t really add much that’s all that new, really. But the fact is, the Bombpops do pop punk and punk rock better than most—and they do it with the swagger of twenty-year punk veterans despite being around for just a short time. They’re a special band playing with familiar ideas and the results are pretty spectacular.