Review by Dom Vigil
“Kerosene” kicks off Reckless Serenade’s new EP Out Here with a burst of energy and a timeless sound that feels like a breath of fresh air for the pop-punk scene. By the time the anthemic chorus of this first track comes in, the song has already hosted hints of modern pop-punk acts such as Fireworks (see the opening guitar riff) as well as emo bands such as My Chemical Romance. It may sound like an odd combination, but Reckless Serenade pull it off and then some. And the best thing is, the song only seems to get stronger and stronger as it progresses. The lyrics are relatable, especially the line, “Stop asking what my post grad plans are/the thought, it freaks me out,” and the key change in the final chorus is not only effortless, but it also ends “Kerosene” on a high note. By the time the first track fades out, you’re bound to feel like you’ve already been on a journey, and then, “Overtime” only manages to kick things up a notch.
There isn’t any filler on Out Here. Each track on this EP has a purpose, and one that is made fairly obvious by the time the first chorus hits. “Overtime,” for instance is super poppy and catchy. While many pop-punk acts seem to struggle to write diverse songs that sound different from one another, that feat seems effortless for Reckless Serenade. The high point of this second song is definitely in the vocal melodies (and that gorgeous high run in the chorus) which sound unlike anything any other pop-punk artists are currently releasing.
“Pretty Monster” starts off slow, with softer vocals almost reminiscent of Something Corporate, but it still has that big, trademark anthematic feeling in the drums and guitar that the first two tracks on Out Here have. Where the other tracks shine in vocals, this song really stands out in instrumentals, with a huge drum part right off the bat, strong guitar work, and solo after solo that will have you falling in love. Keeping up with the constantly changing moods and sounds on Out Here, “Fire” feels very summery and poppy. It’s hard not to bob your head along to this track, which has some really interesting guitar riffs, a strong bass line and a catchy chorus. The verse following the first chorus almost sounds similar to Twenty One Pilots, once again showcasing Reckless Serenade’s versatility and ability to adapt.
Closing out the EP is the slower ballad, “Stranger Things,” which consists of a beautiful chorus and strong bass and guitar work, and “The Art Of Letting Go,” which hosts easily some of the prettiest and strongest guitar work on Out Here. This EP is wild from start to finish, keeping listeners on their toes and eager to hear what Reckless Serenade does next, but by the time the album comes to an end, you’ll be feeling more refreshed than exhausted. Reckless Serenade make things seem easy with Out Here, which is the perfect blend of modern pop-punk and the older emo bands of the Drive-Thru Records era. As the EP comes to a huge close (much like it begins) Reckless Serenade leave you hanging with the longing line, “The summer came and went with a heartbeat/the same damn way that it did last year/the kids are grown and gone/but I’m still here.”
Listen to "Kerosene"
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