Pop punk from Oakland California. Now where have we heard that one before? Sure it’s the home of all things Gilman Street and some. From little acorns and all that, those punks took over the music world for a period and still hold a sizable fond spot in the hearts of millions so it’s always gonna be tough to come out of that very same scene and not be compared to what went before you. Anyway, Adventure Playground might well come from that spot on this spinning rock and they certainly play their version of punk pop with brash guitars and sunshine and heartfelt melodies.
Bay Areas, Adventure Playground became fast friends at music summer camp in Cazadero, CA. After graduating high school the group spent the next 10 years spread out around the country honing their craft. Opener ‘Alright Already’ is a rapid, clanging danceable slice of abrasive punk rock with a strong melody and some sharp playing they clearly arent your johnny come lately punk kids.
It’s a very American-sounding record and the vocals and a lot of the bass lines remind me of Anti Flag which is a good place to be for this style of punk rock. Saying that ‘He Said She Said’ reminds me of vintage Blink 182. Is there a genre called jazz pop punk? well, there is now as the ‘Fried Fish Junk’ is a blitzkrieg of jazzy punk, not getting it? play it and come back to me. ‘Living On Sunshine’ sounds like it should with big open space riffs and a huge grinning melody. It sure is pop punk but there’s a lot more going on here with the jazzy exerts and the big ballad-like rock of ‘Walking Away’ followed by the haunting ‘The Ballad Of Russell Rose And His Trusty Steed’ but wait halfway through it breaks out into a romp to the finish line. leaving just ‘New Plan(et)’ to sign off this nine-track debut.
I’m sure live theres plenty of goofing around on stage but these guys can play and they put every ounce into these songs. Pop punk with a twist is something that lights your fire then Adventure Playground is a band you should fully invest in.