The New Rochelles’ debut album, It’s New!, is 14 minutes and 36 seconds of pure pop punk energy. All of the songs clock in under 1:40 but every single one of them is fun, robust, and will kick start your urge to dance. I was immediately captured from the first chords of the first track, Go Go New Ro!, which is an instrumental. It is indeed an instrumental, but it is all vigor. They are setting the listener up for the nonstop charge of pop punk we are about to experience.
The entire album is fast, powerful, and full of energy that never drops. There were times that three songs has passed before I realized that one had ended and another began. There is never a dip in the intensity within a single song, or from one song to another. (Barney Stinson would approve of the “all rise” attitude of the New Rochelles.)
It’s New! is more about the sound than the content of the lyrics. If there is a secret formula to a kickass fun punk song, The New Rochelles have found it. The first part of the formula must have to do with the music and sound of a song because there is a great rapport in each track between the drums, bass, guitar, and vocals, where each element has an equal part in the song’s sound. The second part of the formula must have to do with having fun and writing identifiable (yet not super serious) lyrics. From the totally identifiable “I got sent to my room, mom hit me with a wooden spoon, I did something bad.” to the totally ridiculous “Watch out for the skuntape” they remind us that it’s okay for music to be about having fun, for both the musicians and the audience.
What separates The New Rochelles’ from other pop punk bands that have been sprouting up for the last few years is their authenticity. Every song on It’s New! is straightforward pop punk. There are no super hooks to distract the listener or to try to fit into the radio friendly punk idea. The sound of the album is timeless and genuine. There aren’t many bands that are playing this type of punk today, but I am psyched that the New Rochelles are carrying on the torch.
It’s New! was able to take me back to the days of driving home from shows at midnight with my windows down blasting Anthem For a New Tomorrow into the quiet suburbs. To that time when we needed the identifiable pop punk just as much angst ridden scream. Full of heavy chords and a voice made to sing pop punk, this album will become a staple in every misfit kid’s record collection. And for any of the older kids, anyone who grew up on a steady diet of The Ramones, The Mr. T Experience, The Queers, and Screeching Weasel will love The New Rochelles.
It’s New! is available now for preorder at Bright & Barrow Records and will be released August 16th.