Whisking you on a high school adventure of self-discovery and recovery, Bowling for Soup bassman’s Erik Chandler Band are here to tell you ‘The Truth’ about growing up.
Refusing to outstay its welcome with familiar odes to love and loss, ‘The Truth’ is a debut that happily meets every expectation. Bowling for Soup’s admirable youth anthems pour through every second of The Erik Chandler Band’s first venture, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Filled to the rafters with sophomore pop punk driven by catchy hooks and authoritative basslines, opener ‘After 12’ sets a scene of melancholy and repetitive realisation, “it wasn’t like they said it was.” Accompanied by the introverted melody of ‘Hold It Together’ and ‘Anna’s acoustic lament, you can either run away from your responsibilities with ‘Push the Pedal’ or wait endlessly for hope of better days with the jig-inducing ‘It Ain’t Right’.
Bursting through the negativity with its boisterous and quirky rhythm, ‘Tonight’s the Night’ wins the award for the most confusingly upbeat breakup tune. There’s no shortage of competition for that title though, proven by the compulsory poolside jam ‘Malibu Classic’ and even ‘Where Did You Go’ holds a toe-tapping singalong while lyrically exclaiming that sometimes it’s better not to know the truth.
Ever been tempted to text your ex? ‘Honestly’ feels your pain – a bitter outpouring of post-breakup disdain which neatly pairs with the raging ‘This Time’ in which Erik’s vocals assume a raw, rasping and envious tone. Even so, the swaying lament of ‘Did You Know’ holds a sweet tricksy solo at its heart and the sorrowful ‘You Were Gone’ appears somewhat hopeful for the future.
Telling it as it is, the adolescent charm of ‘The Truth’ proves that the pop punk genre might just value The Erik Chandler Band’s honesty in a time of towering metaphors and rock-bottom heartbreak.