The Wonder Years 'No Closer To Heaven'... Their Best Album Yet?
If you thought ‘The Greatest Generation’ was the best album The Wonder Years could produce, wait until you hear what the Pennsylvanian pop punk sextet have delivered us this time. ‘No Closer To Heaven’ is the fifth full length album from the boys, and their third release through Hopeless Records.
The album fits into the band’s catalogue perfectly, getting the balance between their classic sound and new technicality absolutely spot on. There’s all the elements of the older albums that established The Wonder Years as a solid band, mixed in with an extra dose of genius songwriting and raw talent.
The Wonder Years have never shied away from spitting out some hard hitting lyrics, and the content on this album is absolutely killer. With topics reaching deep into the hearts of many, Dan Campbell’s way with words is certainly something that really sets the band in a league of their own. This album tackles a whole host of issues and many of the tracks are structured in such a way that allows for the listener to build their own personal experiences into the lyrics.
Interesting dedications on the album include “A Song For…” both Ernest Hemingway and Patsy Cline, the latter being a little lackluster in execution in comparison to many of the tracks. “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then” is the epitome of classic TWY - relatable lyrics with a self-motivating message behind it and a chorus just destined for the live scene. Later tracks “Thanks For The Ride” and “I Wanted So Bad To Be Brave” continue to demonstrate the band’s knack for massive singalong anthems and punchy, upbeat rhythms.
As their second single off the album “Cigarettes & Saints”, an uncompromising story of losing a friend to addiction, has already had it’s fair share of analysis from all, and sounds even better nestled among other equally potent tracks. Album title track and closer, “No Closer To Heaven”, is a beautiful way to wrap an album, serving as a perfect little acoustic number truly illustrating the best of Campbell’s ability to produce softer tracks. Normally I can easily pick a favourite track off new albums, but this time around it’s difficult because there’s so many crackers packed into one record - this certainly isn’t an album I’ll be getting bored of anytime soon!
The whole band have truly upped their game for this record, sounding technically tighter than ever. The Wonder Years are one of those bands who push the boundaries of their genre and create a unique sound that is recognisable above the noise of the busy pop-punk crowd. With this album added to their catalogue, I will definitely be hitting up a show when they make their way back across the pond - the majority of these tracks are just screaming to be played live and sung at the tops of lungs.
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Words by Liss Parkes