The Wonder Years unleashed a new full-length last week, so I thought it would be a good idea to give it a spin and write something about it. At first, I thought it would be just another pop-punk album, but I was entirely wrong. The Wonder Years were always known as a band that pushed their sound to the very limits, often shapeshifting the boundaries of the pop-punk genre, but The Hum Goes On Forever resonates with such a unique ambiance that it goes beyond several genres. If you compare this album with their previous full-lengths, you’ll notice they slightly changed several things to achieve an even more complex sound without losing that cathartic ambiance we all get used to before.
The Hum Goes On Forever carries twelve outstanding compositions. Perhaps The Wonder Years solely rely upon contemporary pop-punk aesthetics but don’t be surprised if you stumble on other complementary music genres. You’ll notice some of the finest properties of post-hardcore, easycore, emo, indie, and alternative lurking in the mix. It’s nearly mindblowing how The Wonder Years combined all these elements without spoiling the primary sonic direction. Everything works like a charm and to the advantage of this material. The band also included a generous dosage of studio reverb over the top, so you’ll immediately notice a pleasant layer or echo that provides that specific cathartic ambiance. Perhaps this addition will resemble something post-rock, shoegaze, and dream pop bands would do, but in this case, it works fine for pop-punk tracks as well. The sound engineer/producer did an incredible job on this one, so you’ll hear each instrument resonating in the mix.
I adore how both guitars burst with sheer power from scratch to finish. You’ll hear how the lead guitar bursts with thoughtfully arranged themes, melodies, and harmonies, while the rhythm contributes with heavy riffs and chord progressions. The bass guitar fulfills the gaps between guitars and the drumming performance. Honestly, this material wouldn’t sound so powerful without these low-end tones. Each bassline complements those guitar dualities in the best possible way. Of course, nothing would be so profoundly dynamic without exceptional drumming performance based upon detailed rhythmic segments, clever accentuations, and hectic drum fills. The lead vocalist is probably one of The Wonder Years’ heaviest weapons in the arsenal. His tremendous vocal performance delivers another layer of harmonies above all the exceptional musicianship provided by the remainder of the band. The Hum Goes On Forever is one of those full-lengths you need to hear if you’re into pop-punk music. These guys nailed this one, and it’s probably one of their best recordings ever. The album is available on vinyl, CD, and streaming services, so head to Hopeless Records for more information about ordering.