I’ve never been one for the whole “guilty pleasures” thing, if you like something then you like it and genre, label or target audience doesn’t matter one jot. So yeah, when we got the eMail here at cackblabbath.online asking if we were interested in giving Somewhere Somehow, the new album from We The Kings the answer was a definite YES !!!
Ok, Ok, MY answer was a definite yes..
You see where some bands strive to be extreme, or shouty, or angry or whatever We The Kings go in for none of that, at all. Instead they beautifully craft happy, bouncy pop-rock songs that provide the perfect soundtrack for an afternoon drive in the Florida sunshine or, more likely in my case, a dull grey trip to the shops.
Although they’re a band, obviously, We The Kings are mostly about their annoyingly talented frontman Travis Clark. When I first encountered WTK (at Slam Dunk about 5 years ago) it was his stage presence that drew me in and whether it’s the main stage at a big festival or a sweatly club in Nottingham he never gets any less involving, even for those of us in the audience who aren’t swooning teenage girls.
Somewhere Somehow is business-as-usual bubblegum rock from one of the best song-crafters in the Vans Warped Tour generation and that’s not faint praise, they really are the best at what they do. Things open up with Queen Of Hearts which immediately sees us on familiar territory, you see We The Kings know what they are good at, and they still stand head and shoulders above the swarms of successors who have followed in their wake.
Albums like this stand or fall on the quality of the musicianship, and the quality of the songs. The crystal clear production and “proper” vocals don’t leave any of the normal pop-punkster “places to hide” deficiencies, so it’s just as well that as a band We The Kings don’t appear to have any. Be it the lighter in the air anthem of Any Other Way or the teenage-ey angst of Find You There the whole album just delivers.
It’s also surprisingly varied, within the confines of “it is what it is”. There’s something haunting, and raw, about the appropriately titled Sad Song which sees Travis pitching his vocal talents against Elena Coats in a duet clash of the vocal titans. There’ll be more than one emo kid sitting listening to this one on repeat next time they get dumped.
So there you have it, my name is Iain, I’m 45 years old and I like We The Kings. If you want something to brighten up your day I suggest you go check ’em out.