Spraynard – ‘Mable’ Review

Posted: by Morgan

Listen to the album while you read!

Pop punk has long been a bit of a bastard in music. It’s not shiny enough for the radio. It’s too poppy for traditional punk and hardcore kids. It’s usually a bit too immature for most critics.

Spraynard has somehow circumvented all of these usual concerns with their newest release, Mable. As they proclaim “I’m done being ignored,” on the single, ‘Applebee’s Bar,’ brutal self-deprecation relays over crashing guitars and drum fills that push with fervor. As with everything else on the record, it is scathing, raw and honest without ever feeling overwhelming. Pat Graham’s strained, nearing-scream vocals draws out these sentiments and establishes a rather covert sense of intimacy despite its high pace.

Continuing at the speed set by the opener, ‘Buried’ and ‘Medicine’ also race forward for an impressive one-two punch. The aforementioned track proudly proclaims the rallying cry “I just want to know what it’s like to be alright,” over and over again in an effort to instill passionate energy. Meanwhile, ‘Bench’ slows thing down for a more Dikembe sound with sour-noted vocals reflecting the bitter heart-wrenching story behind slow jam guitars. The perfectly matched production feels just messy enough to keep Spraynard’s unique sound from ever feeling too bubble gum-y. 

‘Pond’ begins with seemingly stereotypical sentiment of disliking your body while simultaneously acknowledging that you’re too lazy to do anything about it. This elementary concept evolves into higher complexity, about how doing what you love makes your life worth living. The maturation of such themes gives both the album and the band the depth it needs to feel legitimate, making it near impossible to dismiss pop punk this time.

Effortless transitions between songs gives a cool fluidity to the album, particularly in its reoccurring themes of juxtaposing optimism and self-loathing. ‘Lost Boys,’ tells us that he’s ready to remedy his efforts of ‘Trying to feel okay, with purposeful fuck ups and directional mishaps in a personal letter format backed by lively snare work. This then switches gears to a substantially lower throttle in ‘Out of Body,’ adding some needed change to the record’s consistency.

Despite the ever-lurking element of sadness, Mable lacks the cliché pop-punk sad boi routine of whining about women and rejection. It is about being sad, but also being self-aware. There is no glorification in the unhappiness felt.

This is the group’s first release for the incredible Jade Tree Records and it will surely make a fine addition to the label’s already notable anthology. 


Get the album here: http://jadetree.merchnow.com/