This Time Next Year has been a fan favorite in the pop punk scene over the past several years. They first released two EPs, A Place For You and The Longest Way Home in 2007 and 2008 respectively. They were both pretty highly regarded in the scene, but fans wanted more. In 2009, they announced that they would be releasing their first full length, titled Road Maps and Heart Attacks. It was received well but I personally felt that they haven’t reached their peak yet. So needless to say, when they announced Drop Out Of Life, it was an album that I was anxiously waiting to get my hands on.
In the promotion of this album, This Time Next Year turned to Twitter. They would get fans to use the hashtag #dropoutoflife… as a way of voicing your displeasure to whatever is currently happening in your life, and wanting to do something you are truly passionate about. It worked and caught on like wildfire as everyone got even more juiced up for the album. The first song I heard off the album was the title track and opener, “Drop Out Of Life” on the band’s Tumblr. From the get-go, the opening guitar riff reminded me something straight out of 2000. I’ve always compared these guys to New Found Glory and you can definitely tell the influence on this track. Ultra catchy way to start off the record.
Even though singer Pete Dowdalls leaves a little to be desired in a live setting, he sounds absolutely fantastic on this release. He’s one of few vocalists in the pop punk scene that I can honestly say has a “perfect” voice for the genre. Plus, he is complemented perfectly with guitarist/backup singer Brad Wiseman’s “rougher” vocals.
“Last Call” is another one of those songs that could have found it’s way onto a teen comedy movie soundtrack. Even though the chorus is a bit slowed down, this song is full of great hooks. “Spoontonic” was the second song released off the record, and may be my favorite. It starts as not your typical This Time Next Year song… pretty mellow verses and a prechorus, but it leads into one of my favorite melodies the band has ever written. But I am disappointed we had to wait until track 6 to get to hear Wiseman’s vocals.
“My Side of Town” is one of those songs that will be stuck in your head for days. “Get It, Got It, Good” has some of the heavier guitarwork I’ve heard from them… dare I say the intro sounds almost hardcore? It’s an in-your-face song with some awesome gang chants throughout. The closer “This Is An Airport Train” is EXCELLENT and is arguably the strongest song in their catalogue. It features everything from great buildup to the soaring chorus to flawless vocals and harmonizing.
They definitely wrote a better album than Road Maps and Heart Attacks, but the lyrics are simple and all the songs are still fairly generic to the genre. But complexity never seemed to be something this band has focused on… instead, they have become masters of writing fun, energetic sing along songs, which is what makes their live shows such a blast.
Listen to “Drop Out Of Life”: