Understandably, there’s a gap between Gone By Friday’a debut album and their second record. The members all have day jobs that suck up most of their time. At the end of the day Gone By Friday is still a small indie band from Queens. I still enjoy listening to their first record Noisetank!. It’s a great pop-punk album. How might Gone By Friday fair with their sophomore record? The Quarter Life Crisis delivers.
The Quarter Life Crisis dropped in the spring of 2015. And, like with Noisetank!, I decided to review it because it’s a good album and the band deserves exposure.
From the first few seconds of The Quarter Life Crisis the band shows signs of maturity. They have improved as lyrists and musicians. They are also older and have more life experience to draw on. In some respects, this album is better than their debut.
On the music front, the most noticeably different is the band has shed some of their lightheartedness that coated their first record. Yet, they retain a pop-punk sheen. Lyrically, The Quarter Life Crisis leaps beyond Noisetank!. Naturally, this is due to the amount of time the band had to refine their songs and their progression as experienced as musicians.
One of the biggest differences between The Quarter Life Crisis and their older material is that Gone By Friday incorporated acoustic elements. They don’t have a full-on ballad or anything close to a “slower song”. Rather, some tunes are introduced an acoustic guitar. This departure adds an intriguing texture to the record.
There are moments on the record without any lyrics. Here, the band shows off their ability to jam with their instruments and capture their listeners without uttering any words. The opening track actually features a lengthy instrumental introduction. As someone that frequently listens to metal, this is a real treat. I don’t see a lot of bands outside of the “metal crowd” with extended instrumental sections. I certainly don’t see many bands starting an album with such a long instrumental section.
Other moments are lyric centered. The instruments bow to the signer’s voice and allow him space to spit his passion into the ears of anyone listening. Billy Kupillas voice is a great example of “pop punk” vocals. It is whiny and soaring.
Recommendations and Songs Worth Investigating
“600 Miles” offers a change of pace in the music realm. Its less punk rock and more alternative. The drummer clicks his stick away as the singer delivers a string of lyrics. However, when the song takes off, it doesn’t stop.
“The Quarter Life Crisis” continues one of the themes the band featured in their first album: coming-of-age in a huge, unforgiving world. This is a daunting task, as most anyone will explain. However, for a young band this task is twofold: the members themselves must face the world and all the pressures it brings, along with the challenges of breaking into the music industry.
If the title track is about coming-of-age, then “The Story so Forgotten” is the sequel. This chorus states the band is “singing songs that no one else will ever know”. As the song progresses, this lonely existence is chosen, as the lyrics describe, over selling one’s soul for “one more sold out show”. Of course, these heavy lyrics are displayed over a set of punk rock guitars and drum beat.