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2/14 bleed conviction on their debut album Adrienne’s Garden. Seamlessly transitioning between bratty, fast-paced pop punk, charismatic alternative rock, and glistening emo passages, the band’s freshman effort is the sound of emboldened youth with everything to prove and nothing to lose.
Lead single "Crystal Ball” serves as the band’s introduction, delivering a seamless meld of breakneck pace, chugging rhythms, and striking harmonies wrapped up into a breathtaking 3-minute roller coaster. The track touches on the reckless joy of Carlson's teenage years while knowing that it all comes crashing down in a moment’s notice. “Your crystal ball isn’t crystal clear,” he roars, “so bide your time, and forget it while we’re here.” Written the summer before he turned 20, the song snapshots the emotions of frustration and blissful ignorance, but ultimately a moment of clarity - a time bomb that detonates into a mosh-ready breakdown.
“Escalator” shows off the band’s mid-tempo strength in a heartfelt anthem chronicling the disillusionment of youth in a post-pandemic world. “A cigarette burns alive,” Carlson ponders, "and I’m seeing it a way of life.” The track effortlessly navigates sleek verses, slamming choruses, and layers of atmospheric bridge vocals that collapse into a brutal, frantic scream. Written during the beginning of 2021 with the Coronavirus pandemic in full force, the band paints a vivid picture of the desperation, apathy, and isolation of young adults stuck in a cage.
“Allergic to Pennsylvania” repackages the angst of classic pop punk with luscious, lightly distorted guitars and cleverly precise snare work. In a stark confessional, Carlson wallows in the grief of heartbreak while trying to play it cool. “You ask me what I think of you, I said I can’t pretend that I still hate you,” he sings with a chip on his shoulder and a lump in his throat. The brief but poignant track summarizes anxious obsession, late night phone calls, bitter rejection, and ultimately the painful relatability of loneliness in spite of the vast world around us.
“Dust Bunny” is the album’s only track to feature Carlson with an acoustic guitar. The serenity is almost unnerving - glowing harmonies highlight themes of identity, disappointment, and the mundanity of everyday life. “I could take you away… under my skin,” he sings just above his breath, “‘cause you fit right in.” While the frontman displays an entirely new texture, the percussion remains crisp and agile under softly layered strumming and singing. Nevertheless, the band doesn’t shy away from their fiery tendencies as the track closes on deafening guitars and brash, pounding drums.
“Wrench” is an unapologetically intense spotlight on the band’s upbeat, visceral punk rock drive alongside short breathers of laid-back instrumentation. Playfully relaying memories of teenage parties and youthful romance, Carlson treads lightly through the fear of wasted adolescence, tough decisions in the face of peer pressure, and ultimately calling it quits to save yourself. “Hit me, miss me, take a drag,” he snarls, “we’d all look better in a bodybag.”
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