Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Album Review: Homeboys by The Couch Bombs

I first reviewed The Couch Bombs back in 2015 following the release of Growing Pains. Now the four piece from Denver, Colorado, are back with a brand new seven song release named Homeboys. When presented with the chance to review Homeboys I was very intrigued to see how The Couch Bombs have progressed over the past couple of years.

Homeboys begins with the song Insomnia. Insomnia is a song about not being able to sleep and, when you do, having horrific nightmares. It's a bouncy pop punk song that hooks from the start with some catchy riffs that will have you bopping up and down immediately. The way that the song is written allows for the entire band to show off their musical skill with some nice guitar and drum sections and some fantastic bass playing. Minimum Wage again starts with some catchy guitar work that fills the song with an instant energy. It feels like there is plenty of anger and passion in singer Ian Rothenstein's vocals on Minimum Wage. It's a song about the frustration of working in a dead end job and feeling let down by the system. It's a song that I can easily relate to and I'm sure that there are plenty of people in the punk scene who also could. The third song is titled Lawrence, Kansas. This is the first song on Homeboys where the band add some of their ska influences onto the track and this works stupendously. Jumping between pop punk and ska keeps the release sounding fresh as well as showing variety in The Couch Bombs songwriting skills.

Cold Pizza is a thirty-four second pop punk blast of unadulterated fun. That's all you really need to know about that song. Up next is Evil Deeds, which has more of a melodic punk rock feel. It's played at a slower pace than a lot of what we've heard so far. I think that this allows more scope for the listener to become more involved in the song from the outset. The ending is just superb. What a great guitar solo. It's not often in punk rock that I feel the need to get my air guitar out of its air case and tune up those air strings and really air wail (I'm not sure air wail really makes sense but I'm going with it)! The penultimate track on Homeboys is named Skasege Fest. I'm sure you've worked out from the song's title that this track is more of a ska song. As you might imagine, this song had me wanting to dance from its beginning with some fun upstrokes being played. The Couch Bombs are not ones to put hidden meanings into their song titles so you might be able to work out what the song is all about - there being a lot of ska bands at a show. For me this is never a bad thing - ska is the best! Homeboys finishes up with another pop punk/ska tune. I think this is where The Couch Bombs really excel as they blend the two stlyes together effortlessly. I Don't Care is about getting over somebody who breaks your heart by announcing that you simply don't care about that person anymore. The chorus is incredibly catchy and I can imagine a live crowd just singing this joyously.

What a fun release Homeboys is. The Couch Bombs have come on massively since Growing Pains. They have got a solid sound that, whilst it doesn't reinvent any wheels, still sounds fresh and you don't get a sense of "oh, this again" which is crucial in a genre that is packed with great bands. There are a lot of small bands I have the pleasure of listening to and The Couch Bombs are really standing out amongst the pack.

Stream and download Homeboys here: https://thecouchbombs.bandcamp.com/

Like The Couch Bombs here: https://www.facebook.com/TheCouchBombs/

This review was written by Colin Clark.