Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Challenges - We Ruined the Neighborhood

Challenges are a few things. Firstly, they're another one of those bands that are heavily influenced by New Found Glory, Blink 182, Set Your Goals, and all the bands that have emerged recently who share the same influences. Secondly, they're from Massachusetts...which means it's pretty likely that they're a pretty rad pop punk band. And lastly, they're pretty damn good!

Late last year, Challenges released their debut full length 'We Ruined the Neighborhood', and for some reason it's taken nearly a year to reach my inbox. It's one of those albums where you really dig the shit out of it, but you're pretty aware of all the ways it could be better, and are also pretty aware that the band could be just a couple changes in style away from no longer inciting your interest. The album is packed with so much energy that you'd probably have to enlist a fleet of very large cargo ships to even begin to contain it all, and with enough infectious vocal hooks to almost trick you into thinking you're listening to Fireworks by accident. Sure, it can sound pretty whiny at times, and you may have a problem with how much Tom Delonge influence the vocals exhibit, but there's enough awesomeness going on that most of your problems with the record will be heavily outweighed by all the reasons you keep hitting play again after all the tracks have run their course.

Challenges have put out an excellent album to kick open the door with, and they have plans on releasing their sophomore LP this year. Most of my feelings towards this band are definitely of anticipation. I want to see where they go next. I've almost always liked the second album far more than first with basically every band in this genre, and I hope it's the case with Challenges, because I'm definitely more than a little bit interested in listening to a lot more music by them in the future. It's not just pop punk mixed with hardcore; it's also good music mixed with rambunctious energy and unapologetic attitudes and good times condensed into melodic form. It's Challenges, and it's pretty rad. Oh, and it's also on bandcamp. Cheers.


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