If you’re a fan of pop-punk and keep up with the genre pretty well or if you keep up with some of the bands I’ve written about, you’ve probably seen this album circling around Facebook pretty hard the past two days. Close Only Counts has dropped their new album, Do Bad Things, for free on their Facebook page. When a band is so eager to offer up their album for free, especially in a society where everyone whines about downloaded music, it’s something to take notice of. And how can you go wrong at least giving it a try?
After an intro from Bike Face, Close Only Counts kicks the album off with The New Guy, an unruly pop-punk jam that you’ll find it hard to resist nodding your head the whole way through. There are some fast vocals, some melodic sing-along-worthy choruses, and some grimy guitars to round out the song experience.
I think Knee Shark should probably be the theme song of anyone’s twenty-something years. This song talks of late nights at work, little sleep, and the feeling of nothing to show for it, which I’m sure is exactly how some of us feel at this age range. Two years and who knows where we’ll be? Twenty-four and he doesn’t get much sleep, doesn’t know where he’s been, he’ll never see this fucking place again.
She’s Lying, I’m Dying has the mix of two things I love most about pop-punk: some anger toward a love interest and clever lyrics that’ll cut right through the person the anger is directed at. You want a challenge? Well, how about you try to be yourself.
My favorite track on the album is definitely Jesse and My Whetstone. It’s an even more up-beat track than the rest of the album that’ll get you moving. The instruments sound tighter in this track – more in sync with each other and knowing it. The vocals are in charge and come through cleanly. Within thirty seconds, I had already turned my volume up a significant amount so I could enjoy this one loud and clear.
Swing for the Fences is a song that you’d want to throw on if you’d had a rough day and needed some encouragement in the form of thrashing drums and empowering lyrics. You’re gonna do great things, baby, who gives a shit what they all say now?
Close Only Counts wraps the album up with the title track, Do Bad Things. They end the album on such a high note – this song sounds the most polished and the most pulled together of anything on the album. The guitars slay your ear drums in the best possible way. This is the track that I’d peg as being the most fun to play and hear live. The cheering at the end of this track is pretty much how I feel after listening to this.
Ten tracks and twenty-eight minutes later and I’m thoroughly impressed. For a smaller band, this is such a solid pop-punk album and has many tracks that will be going into my regular rotation – I think this entire album might actually end up in the car for those boring mornings that need a wake-up. If you’re into the genre, do yourself a favor and head over to their Facebook or Twitter page and download this album. It’s free and I’m giving it two thumbs up. Really, what do you have to lose? Get to it!
Jesse and My Whetstone (track 8)
She’s Lying, I’m Dying (track 5)
Do Bad Things (track 10)