In an attempt to combat the whitewashing of punk/pop-punk/indie music, all of Indientry’s album reviews for the month of February (Black History Month) will feature black musicians, both solo and within other groups. Check out our full list of bands here!
There’s nothing that helps an excruciatingly terrible day like some classic pop-punk, and Heroes Like Villains provides the perfect distraction with Amends. This Columbus group, heavily engaged in the local scene, is actually opening for Four Year Strong in a sold-out show when they come through town – and they’re ecstatic about it. If you’re not going to that show, be sure to check out where else they’re playing soon, and until then, check out Amends!
The album opens with In The First Place, sounding like typical pop-punk with David Butler’s smooth vocals and just-barely-fuzzy guitars. It’s a super belt-worthy song, almost like something you could scream at the top of your lungs while driving down the highway at night – a cathartic activity that I tend to make a habit of. Red Ribbons follows a similar line, showing just how easy it is to jam to this EP with rocking guitar and vocals that fit perfectly into the song.
If you’re into the heavier stuff, don’t despair: Ties, my personal favorite, gets exponentially more intense. With hard-hitting lyrics like, “Sorry man, but I had to/cut ties, turn my back on you/you know damn well I don’t want to/this is the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do”, it’s hard not to love this song, and when you add in the surprising yet not unpleasant unclean vocals, it’s easy to see how it’s my favorite. The rest of the six-song EP follows similarly: alternating a little between lighter sounds and intensity, though it tends to fall towards the latter.
Listening to this band is like flashing back to the early 2000s, when pop-punk was at its peak. The instrumentals are almost reminiscent of early All Time Low or Fall Out Boy, before they were considered “sellouts”. To summarize? Amends is a stellar EP, excellent for a dark and gloomy day – or any other day, for that matter.