Punk Rock Factory – It’s Just a Stage We’re Going Through

There is no denying the sheer metric tonne of fun that Punk Rock Factory bring to anyone’s ears, be it on record or on stage. Having played their first live show in 2021 at Bloodstock of all places the band have only increased their fanbase with a fantastic TikTok account and appearances at most major festivals, but now in 2023 they are celebrating a near as dammit (pun intended) sold out UK tour with a new album.

Known for their high concept intellectual releases, such as, cartoon theme tunes and Disney songs, this time the South Wales quartet has turned it’s 4 chord bounce-a-thon to…. Musical Theatre.

It’s Just a Stage We’re Going Through is Punk Rock Factory’s sixth album now. Do they continue with the format of nostalgia and animation and risk choosing songs “not as good as the last batch”? Or does the band explore a different avenue and risk fans and critics lose that sense of a youth recaptured? Well clearly they have chosen the latter and to be honest it isn’t as instantly connectable as their previous releases although that’s not to say it’s a poor album.

Indeed each track is played with the aplomb of a band opening for Blink 182 in their hometown, but if you haven’t seen The Greatest Showman or Hamilton then the opening tracks are just fairly standard pop-punk songs, but it’s when the listener gets to December 1963 (Oh What a Night) – yeah you know the one – that things really seem to pick up, as if the familiarity of that song makes everything okay from that point with Defying Gravity from Wicked and Les Miserables’ I Dream A Dream hammering home with all the joy of New Found Glory covering Simple Plan, who incidentally make a guest appearance in the form of Jeff Stinco absolutely melting faces with a guitar solo on Waving Through a Window.

It must be said that this album may very well feature the greatest version of Mamma Mia ever recorded and Bradley Cooper would almost certainly enjoy PRF’s take on Shallow, but You’re the One I Want is (punk) rocking and album closer of I Will Follow Him from Sister Act is another tour de force.

All in all it’s an okay punk rock album, but loses some of the usual fun of the novelty of these boys as the tunes don’t connect in quite the same way as previous choices. If you are already a fan of Punk Rock Factory then chances are you’ll like this album, if you aren’t and can’t stand musicals this probably isn’t going to persuade you to buy a ticket. On the other hand if you have heard a couple of tracks and didn’t realise quite what PRF are and have seen a few of the more modern musicals then you’ll probably get quite a kick out of this album and be pretty up for watching the band live on their UK tour this October.

For more info on dates, etc check out www.punkrockfactory.com  

It’s Just A Stage We’re Going Through is available right now through the band’s online store.

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