Punk rock and pop punk fans of the early oughts will likely feel a pang or two of nostalgia while listening to Bad Buzz’s latest release, Far From Home.
The recently formed band is based out of Toronto, where they’ve played some of the city’s major venues, but the band’s members are from four “different but equally shady towns across Canada.” They certainly have some of that irreverence that comes from starting up a punk band—mixed with a mischievousness that feels straight out of the heady pop punk days of old.
It doesn’t feel too off the mark to compare Bad Buzz’s burst of nostalgia to mid-peak Blink 182, especially as the album kicks off with a track called “Without You” (even if the song itself leads with an edgier, darker tone). It’s a distinctive Canadian punk sound on the first few tracks, between some metallic slides and lead Ross Carvelli’s youthful vocals.
“I don’t care if we stay here/just as long as we party incessantly,” Carvelli sings on the melancholic love song, “This Ride Tonight.” Bleak vocals clash with tempo, even as a party ethos pairs up with some fancy word work—layering and pairing a number of unexpected elements.
The pop punk starts to trickle in about halfway through with a wholly typical love song in “Wimp.” The album’s single, “Slipping Away” feels straight out of the past as it looks back on some old high school days—while sounding an awful lot like a three-piece band that wrote the soundtrack to many high school years.
It’s an infectious track that makes the rapid passing of years feel a little less terrifying—thanks, in part, to how easy it is to get back into that particular groove. Along with “Wait For Me,” it fills the second half of the album with two great earworms as the band brushes it all off—and turns a bout of homesickness into a pretty fun party.
Top Track: “Wait For Me’
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)