Album Reviews — June 27, 2016 at 10:00

POP-PUNK: Better Weather by With Confidence

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With Confidence is a Sydney-based pop punk band that is taking the world by storm; having toured with powerhouses such as You Me At Six, The Maine, and Marianas Trench, With Confidence is currently preparing to embark on the iconic Vans Warped Tour. On this tour, you will likely hear songs from With Confidence’s latest release, Better Weather, arguably the band’s most mature album to date. As a huge fan of pop punk, I can confidently say that With Confidence is my newest obsession. Their songs are catchy, their chords are rocking, and their lyrics are captivating. And, with a song called, “Voldemort,” on the album, could With Confidence really go wrong?

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you may be thinking that “Voldemort” is about our favorite noseless antagonist. Rather, the song is about being a supportive friend, particularly during times of sadness and hardship, and thematically reminds me of The Wonder Years’s “Cigarettes and Saints” and “Cardinals.” Aside from the powerful lyrics, the song is sets itself apart with the inclusion of clapping and concert white noise portion towards the end, lending a sense of authenticity; it’s as if you are hearing the band perform live, creating and strengthening a supportive bond between band and fan that cannot be broken. The standout song off this album, for me, has to be “Keeper.” It encapsulates everything that a pop punk song should have: relatable lyrics for the downtrodden and lost, mosh-worthy instrumentals, and vocals that capture both desperation and power. I’ve honestly been listening to this song on repeat, it’s just that good. The lyrics will have you screaming along because they just hit that vulnerable, emotional place within you. “Archers” is another amazing track, with a powerful, singalong-worthy chorus that is reminiscent of old-school All Time Low. It is the “Fight Song” of the pop punk world, all about taking back control of your life and living the way you want to. “We’ll Be Okay” keeps the hits going, letting lead singer Jayden Seeley show off his ability to utilize a higher register, as well as balance out the rougher, grittier portions of the bridge. “Long Night” is the requisite slow jam on Better Weather, and still captures your attention the way that With Confidence’s more upbeat songs do. It is the band’s “Remembering Sunday,” or “Miserable At Best,” and it is absolutely exquisite; Seeley’s voice really gets to shine when paired against the simple piano and string instrumentals. “Waterfall” closes out the album by exemplifying the range that the pop punk genre can span; by balancing softer verses with an aggressive chorus, combined with a great drum solo, With Confidence has created a song that takes you on a pop punk musical roller coaster, leaving you completely exhilarated and enthralled.

Honestly, this album is one of the best that I’ve heard all year. It’s rare for me to like every single song on an album, but With Confidence managed to do just that. It is difficult to find fault with this album. Better Weather is the perfect pop punk album, and is wholly worthy of a 5 star rating.

5 out of 5 stars

Hopeless Records

Must-Listen Tracks: “Keeper,” “Archers,” “Gravity,” “Waterfall”

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WATCH:

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BUY Better Weather on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/better-weather/id1098015407

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