Pop-punk is a tricky genre. For a sound that is so crucially simple, the potential for a generic outcome is always there. Though, there are the times where sticking to the basics produces the best results. On What We Signed Up For, the group does just that – keeping it simple to yield a strong finished product.
By continuing with the trademark characteristics that define the genre – hooky choruses, [relatively] nasally vocals, quick tempo – July’s latest effort is textbook execution. Following the twenty-second or so introduction (which, to be fully honest, is just filler noise), tracks such as “Right Here for You” and the quick “Eight Nine Eight” are strong, spotlighted performances.
On the concluding “Collapse,” the group unplugs and provides a calm, heartfelt acoustic song that ties the album tightly shut. With the only use of acoustic guitar on the album, July show a contrasted side of themselves before the full band rejoins and the album comes to a close.
As critical as I am about to sound, here goes: don’t look to What We Signed Up For with expectations of it shattering boundaries or moving mountains. That’s not the type of album that it is. But, I’m not saying any of that negatively – the record is solid pop/punk music that doesn’t waste your time with goals that can’t be reached or a band struggling to go outside of their comfort zone. July knows precisely what they’re doing here, and they’re doing it well.
Release Date: November 12th, 2013
2. “What We Signed Up For”
3. “West Coast Pimpin’”
4. “Right Here for You”
5. “Secret Is a Sleazy Word”
6. “Dance, Shuffle, Move Your Feet”
7. “Counting Ducks”
8. “Eight Nine Eight”
9. “Second Best”
10. “To All the Kids”
Written By: Eric Riley