A 90s kid handbook. A Disconnect Disconnect press release lands in my inbox and a smile hits my lips. I know that even if I’ve not heard of the band in question, these guys only associate themselves with great quality punk rock. The quality in this case is Primetime Failure. A band I know very little about other than the small blurb that accompanies the record. I’m promised, in a manner reminiscent of a Sega Megadrive advert, that my nineties skate punk prayers have been answered and I guess there’s only one way to find out whether I’m being lied to or not…
From the one note opening to the swift follow up drop I can feel the territory I’m in straight away. I’m immediately reminded of Fenix TX. Subject matter touching on revisiting old neighbourhoods, the bass breakdown in the middle eight, the ever so simple chord structure – everything here is specifically designed to set off a nostalgia trip, to a time when Jason Biggs was a star and All Star wasn’t just root of all memes. Luckily for Primetime Failure that is exactly the kind of teenager I was so it keeps me paying attention. Of course if you weren’t into the pulled up sports socks and ¾ length Dickies style of punk rock then there might not be a lot to keep you paying attention. I would say you’ll know for certain halfway through Home whether you’ll care to see this to the end.
The story here with every song is fairly similar. With every song selling so hard on that late 90s nostalgia nothing really finds a way to stand out from the rest of the tracks on the CD and indeed the rest of your collection. If you own some early Ataris, Fenix TX, Home Grown, Anti Freeze, Sum 41, Allister, Midtown etc. then you already know what you’re getting here. Primetime Failure aren’t going out of their way to be particularly original or veering from the formula. These guys are a band from Germany and over my many years of checking out bands I’ve noticed that European bands tend to be less interested in pushing the envelope musically and more interested in just playing music that sounds like the bands that they want to listen to. I spend five minutes looking through which shows are happening in their hometown and I can tell you that New Found Glory certainly aren’t passing through town anytime soon. Therefore if you love a certain style of band then you have to become that band.
This isn’t to say I think it’s a bad thing. On the contrary, I’m a firm believer in playing music that sounds like the stuff in your record collection. Every track is well produced and the guitar tones, vocal harmonies and sharp drums all mean that this will live proudly next to those Lit albums you got signed by AJ. If you love 90s pop punk and you’ve been jonesing for a new fix of exactly what you used to love then Primetime Failure have you covered. This is that great pop punk before all the bands got serious and grew fringes.
In conclusion, while not breaking any genre moulds Home by Primetime Failure is a fun, great sounding, well produced record that knows exactly who their target audience are – and they don’t really give a dried fig about anyone else.
Stream and download Home here: https://disconnectdisconnectrecords.bandcamp.com/album/home
Like Primetime Failure here: https://www.facebook.com/Primetimefailure/
This review was written by Dan Peters.