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REVIEW | Failure Meets Fame makes great First Impressions

First Impressions is a straight-up pop punk record. The first track, “Every Saturday Night (Party Song),” is a catchy first song with a pop-y riff in Drop D. The lyrics deal with the aftermath of a Saturday night party and will appeal to any teenager. When the solo comes around, you’ll be surprised at how well these young musicians write music. The solo makes you want to bob your head. An unforgettable debut to an up-and-coming pop punk band. 5/5

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Editor’s note: For more about Failure Meets Fame, check out our April interview, two reviews of their shows (one, two), and the time they were played on The Current with other GARAGE bands.

With the album streaming below, listen along  as Gabriel walks you through this EP track by track.

by Gabriel

Failure Meets Fame is a pop punk band from Shakopee, Minnesota. Failure Meets Fame is:

James Benincasa – vocals/rhythm guitar

Garth Calkwood – lead guitar

Jon Brenner – drums

Their first EP, First Impressions, was released on July 20, 2013.

First Impressions is a straight-up pop punk record. The first track, “Every Saturday Night (Party Song),” is a catchy first song with a pop-y riff in Drop D. The lyrics deal with the aftermath of a Saturday night party and will appeal to any teenager. When the solo comes around, you’ll be surprised at how well these young musicians write music. The solo makes you want to bob your head. An unforgettable debut to an up-and-coming pop punk band. 5/5

The second song, “Stuck In My Head” captivates you with its opening riff. This song will make you want to jump without even being at a Failure Meets Fame show. The song keeps your attention throughout with shifting dynamics and another well-played solo. 5/5

Track number 3, “Circles” is a longing song.

Without you it’s just an empty soul inside.

You can actually feel the singer’s longing.

Although being a touching song, it keeps an up-tempo groove, held steady by drummer Jon Brenner. Steady power chorded guitars keep the song running like a train. Again comes the solo. I can’t say enough about these solos! They really capture you. They’re All Time Low-esque, melodic solos that you’ll want to listen to over and over again. Great musicianship and a great song. 5/5

Song number 4, “Lost At Goodbye” is sung straight from the heart.

Everything I did for you was a waste

Everything you said to me was complain

I can’t imagine life living with you

Outstanding lyrics.

This song features a bass solo. Interesting, because usually in punk rock the bass follows the guitar and takes a back seat. A great decision to highlight the bass here.

This is great song through and through. Great lyrics, a bass solo, great groove. Excellent song. 5/5

The last song, “Make or Break” takes a dance-punk approach with its opening riff. This is another song that will make you want to jump and dance without even seeing this band live. The lyrics are about making it in the music industry: a dream that almost every teen musician has. Very relatable. After the second chorus, the singer, Benincasa, sings a series of “na-na-nas” that will get stuck in your head (in a good way), before coming to a bass solo. It’s nice to hear a bass player’s chops. Bass players are often overshadowed in punk and this band makes sure that the bass player isn’t confined to playing root notes: a very courteous thing to do, and very enjoyable for the listener. A very catchy ending to a very catchy pop punk record. 5/5

I give this EP a 5/5 because for their age (15-16), they write pop punk music like true professionals. These guys are unbelievable musicians!

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