reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
We are in the middle of a pop-punk revival explosion. A mix of millennial nostalgia, a couple of high profile comeback albums, and a political landscape built for a bit of anger are all working together to make the re-incarnation of the style feel genuine. Toronto’s Summerteeth are bringing their own spin to the mix with Hope This Helps.
Self-described as “indie/emo”, Summerteeth understand that the genre is indulgent, but that sometimes indulgence is a necessary part of moving forward. It’s a spilling of guts in the hope of relating to someone, in the hope of, well, helping.
All the ingredients of a pop-punk album are here: the slow build of “Born Yesterday” holds you in wait of an energetic burst, a couple of breakup songs will spend days stuck in your head (look no further than “Sincerely” and “Summer Never Starts”), and the high production fuzz-filtered intro of “Good News” and guitar riffs of “We Dance For Rain” send you spinning. These are the kind of songs to blast as you lie in bed, or perhaps across the floor, and allow feeling to wash over you. Admit it, the indulgence feels nice.
“Your New Place”, the final track on Hope This Helps, ends with the lyrics, “Were we really in love or were we just wasting time?”. It’s a brave choice on an album made up almost entirely of tracks lamenting an old love moving on, but braveness while teetering on the edge of being labelled thematically repetitive should be commended.
Summerteeth know what they’re doing — they know how to cook but are relying on tried-and-true recipes rather than experimentation. If you’re a fan of pop-punk, this may be your new favourite album. As for me, I can’t wait to see what they create next.
Top Track: “Born Yesterday”
Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)