Becker are a three piece band from Parkersburg, West Virginia. The band have been together since 2018 and have released a couple of EPs. Their latest, and the subject of this review, came out in January 2021. Titled Bigger Than Today, the EP features five fresh sounding pop punk songs that explore life as a thirty something.
First up is Psycho Therapy. My very first thoughts when I listened to the track were that Becker had a bit of a throwback sound that has been brought to 2021. I can easily imagine this being released by Lookout Records or Honest Dons twenty years ago. Psycho Therapy starts with a familiar melody that ensures you’re hooked in immediately and are keen to see where the song goes. The song is played at a mid tempo which really allows the listener to get a grasp of what the track is about. The track looks at admitting that you are struggling mentally and asking for help. This is a subject that I am very passionate about. Suicide is such a big killer of men in their thirties and so many lives could be saved just by talking, so much love to Becker for opening with such an important song. Next is Thank You For Not Smoking. This track starts with a nice rumbling bass line and drum beat that builds into the vocals. Becker pick the pace up on this track and squeeze a lot into the one minute and thirty second duration. The chorus is the stand out moment of the entire song for me, as the band compares their own lives to people who are perceived to be doing better.
Regarding Reggie has a slow, methodical intro that jumps into a faster paced moment. Adam Nohe’s bass is really allowed to shine throughout the song, it’s basically a lead bass line throughout the majority of the track. This track is about feeling lonely and looking at what has happened in your life to lead you to that particular moment. Much like the previous song, Becker do a superb job of squeezing a lot in to a song that is less than two minutes long. The penultimate song on the EP is Man Plans, God Laughs. This shows off a much slower and, dare I say, more grown up side of Becker. The four minute long song seems like a meticulously thought out track where the three piece somehow manage to make their sound huge. Layered guitars, pedal effects, heavy bass tones, pounding drums – it’s all in there. Man Plans, God Laughs is about how all the dreams you have as a child can come crashing down and how rubbish that is. The final song on Bigger Than Today is named Elder Hostile. I was interested to find out what this song what would like after the epic nature of Man Plans, God Laughs. I felt like it needed to be big to follow on from that. Becker return to their familiar sound to finish the EP. It’s faster paced and ensures that we finish with a lot of energy. The guitars buzz throughout the track, as the vocals do most of the work whilst carrying the melody. Towards the end of the song things get quiet and then begin to build to a big finale of whoa-oh gang vocals that will no doubt encourage a live audience when they get to play these songs live.
Bigger Than Today features four great power pop songs and one epic, emotional banger. As someone who is in their mid thirties and has often compared themselves to what other people are doing, I really found a lot of the subject matter extremely relatable and I’m sure a lot of people reading this will do so as well. If you loved bands such as Squirtgun and Nerf Herder, I really think you’re going to enjoy Becker.
Stream and download Bigger Than Today on Bandcamp here.
Like Becker on Facebook here.
This review was written by Colin Clark.