Moncton band finds ways to evolve within pop punk’s rigid framework.
Near the end of 2017, Moncton punk outfit The Virals released their second full-length album – the band’s first since 2014’s Get Outta Here. Over the course of thirteen tracks, Buzzkill builds upon the group’s original “One! Two! Three! Four!” New York punk influence, this time adding a distinct west coast flavor, despite the fact that much of the album’s material was written around the time their debut album was released.
“Buzzkill was written mostly in the winter of 2014,” said drummer Billy Viral. “Most of the songs are about friends, girls, and over-indulgence, but it’s different from Get Outta Here because we opened up more musically.”
Opening up musically within pop punk’s somewhat restricted framework isn’t an easy task, especially when you take into consideration the hundreds of acts that have found varying degrees of success by essentially reproducing the initial sounds created by the genre’s pioneers.
“The songs [on BuzzkillI] are more mature,” said Virals’ bassist Nik Viral. “We’re still talking about teenage pop punk stuff but the songs are more developed and not so much ‘Ramones core’. We’re super honest in our tunes and we don’t really try to sound like anyone else like we did when we were young.”
While a lot of the album follows the along in a familiar vein of 90’s mid-tempo punk, Buzzkill finds The Virals exploring other possibilities within the genre’s time-tested framework. On tracks like Alone Again, Gone Away and Sinking, the band seems comfortable exploring structure and instrumentation, which helps to create a bit of sonic separation between Buzzkill and the band’s debut.
“We have all evolved in many ways, personally and musically,” said Mike Viral, the group’s guitar player. “Stylistically we have definitely taken a vastly different approach to song writing than our previous album.”
Buzzkill is available now through the group’s Bandcamp page. Watch for upcoming New Brunswick and Nova Scotia dates this spring as well as a new EP.
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