O V E R V I E W
I’ve always been a metal kinda guy. But like so many others, my tastes are actually quite BROAD (to quote Deadpool; a huge steaming pile of foreshadowing). I used to love pop punk. Along with metal and a multitude of other genres, pop punk was a music I grew up with. I’m in my thirties now, but pop punk was gigantic back in my teen days and for the most part kept most of its popular momentum into my twenties. But over the years I felt the genre had become a touch stale for the most part. Perhaps it was simply me being ignorant, but it felt like the subject matter for most pop punk band’s and their albums were along the same lines; some jokey tune, love/heartbreak, and fun summer days. To me it felt like the genre was lacking some substantial substance and I grew weary of the ‘same old, same old’. Now, that’s not to say that the odd band/album might not have struck my fancy and tickled my curiosity button into checking it out further. There’s been quite a few instances like that. Present situation especially. Recall that foreshadowing I was speaking of earlier? Not long ago my yearning for a pop punk album with some true depth had been satiated entirely with the arrival of Into the Raging Sea from genre mainstays, Broadside. Now, while the album as a whole may include mixes of genres including alternative and perhaps even a little bit of emo for good measure, it’s and the bands roots are deeply grounded in the world of pop punk. This album is soaked with emotion and heartfelt messages, so many other bands in the genre had left to the wayside. Yes, there is talk of romance and the loss of, but there are also songs that deal with the deepest depths of vast introspection and dying for so much more that what you currently have (emotionally and intellectually). This is the pop punk album I’ve been desiring for so long.
F L O W / L O N G E V I T Y / O R I G I N A L I T Y
One of the biggest aspects of the album that caught my attention after a full listen through were the opening and closing tracks. Both are a severely different tone than what the rest of the album holds in store. They’re much more sombre and emotionally gravitational…drastically sad sounding if you will. The opening track’s title is almost a welcome to the rest of the album, being that it’s basically a title track (“The Raging Sea”). A song about an individual who’s trying to be everything that someone else wants and the toll that it can take on one’s mind and soul. The closing song, entitled “Burning at Both Ends”, almost seems like a callback to the first song, if only in name (although the lyrics as a whole feel somewhat connected at least to me). When one digs in and gives it their all to be everything someone else could want (especially at the risk of losing themselves completely), then you’d expect the title to be exactly what they’re feeling as they go through all the bullshit that comes with it. Even with the rest of the songs carrying a different feel and tone though, somehow these ‘bookends’ if you will, seem to connect everything in the middle. Mainly it’s the subject matter that connects each and every track, but the overall feel from start to finish carries regardless of the meaning of each song varies from a happier note to a more burdened one. When listening to this album from song one, to number eleven, not one song feels out of place or unnecessary.
For myself, this album will always have stay power. As I’ve stated, this was THE pop punk album I’ve been waiting for, for some time. It has that ‘fun’ aspect to it that so many of its cohorts do (which I would never want to be totally lost in a genre like this), but it also has that certain something that touches both my heart and mind. I find myself going back to this album relentlessly for both reasons, and I don’t see that fact changing at any point.
I know reviews are supposed to be as unbiased as possible, but on the other hand aren’t you all reading this (or any) review to find out what one’s opinion is? That being said, I feel this album (as far as pop punk goes) is extremely original. Mind you there are plenty of pop punk bands these days rounding out their sound with a touch of alternative and/or pop rock, but what makes it or makes it not original is if they pull it off in the ears of their listeners. Broadside has more than succeeded in that arena with Into the Raging Sea and for that reason this holds up quite well in the realm of originality.
Purchase, Stream here: https://shrptn.co/theragingsea Website, Tour Dates: https://www.broadsidemerch.com Into The Raging Sea – Out July 24th Subscribe: http…
V O C A L S / I N S T R U M E N T A T I O N
Another reason I’m drawn to a pop punk band like Broadside as much as I am is Ollie Baxxter’s vocals. So many pop punk bands (SO MANY) have singers with high pitched singers, almost to a pitch that sounds whiney (fitting perhaps?). Ollie’s vocals have a substantial more amount of bass than many of his peers and are actually quite unique as a whole. The only comparison that might come to mind is John O’Callaghan of The Maine, as to my ears they have some similarities, but that in and of itself is quite the unique comparison. Ollie shows his voice can pierce even the hardest of hearts on songs like “The Raging Sea” and “Burning at Both Ends”, but shows he still knows how to let loose and have a little fun (regardless of the subject matter perhaps meaning much more) on songs like “Foolish Believer” and “Dancing on the Ceiling (With You)”. The dude has some range which is also refreshing as hell in this genre. He can lure the listen in and hold their attention by using his vast array of pitches and tones, which in the end I would think, is the desire of any singer.
The instrumentation if nothing else on Into the Raging Sea suits the deepest meaning of each and every track. On the opener and closer all instruments are kept simple and sombre to reflect the saddened subject matter, whereas on a song like “Seasons” they sound hopeful, as if even without words the guitar, bass, and drums are wondering if there’s more meaning to life, if there’s something more. The one thing that almost any pop punk album shares is the fact that they’re not the most technical of albums of the same genre, but at least the members of Broadside put in the time and thought to make them have meaning and depth.
C O M P O S I T I O N / P R O D U C T I O N
As I kind of summed up in the vocals/instrumentation section (if you were paying attention) this album is phenomenally well written. This was an album that almost didn’t happen, so the fact that it did shows the band put in their most absolute all. Every word, line, note, and tap of the drum was thought out and calculated, almost to the point that this album is pop punk perfection. But the fact that it can hold its own even when held in the world of genres aside from pop punk, is what shows everything was written with heart and pure intent.
Crisp. Clean. Pure. The three top factors anyone should consider when producing any album. Especially one like this. Into the Raging Sea has all of these. Each note of the guitar, slap pf the bass, slam of the drum, and lyric sung comes through your speakers exquisitely. Even the slight electronic flourishes (that are a welcome new addition) have been layered in such a way that they’re always present, but never overshadowing anything else. That is everything you want in the production of any album
Broadside #FoolishBeliever Purchase, Stream here: https://shrptn.co/foolishbeliever Website, Tour Dates: https://www.broadsidemerch.com Subscribe: https://s…
F I N A L T H O U G H T S
I for one thought pop punk was dead. Stale, cookie cutter bands and albums churning out one after the other to no valid or substantial end. I had all but given up on the genre. As I previously stated I’m in my thirties now, and I was beginning to wonder if maybe I had just grown too old for it all, and pop punk was better left to the ‘youngins’. Broadside luckily showed me that I was VERY wrong. I feel like a band like this could breathe new life into this genre. By expertly melding aspects of other genres into the fold and singing about topics more than farting in your girlfriend’s face, they could be on the forefront of ensuring this genre stays alive. This album is a gem. It caters to what so many must struggle with in their life, but more so it makes you think what others might be going through if you don’t share the same affliction. Yes, it is fun too, but it’s so much more than that. This is the pop punk album I…and I think so many others…have been waiting for.