It’s taking all I have not to call Last Call’s album “Dog Days” due to my love for Diary of a Wimpy Kid. What? You can’t be in your mid-twenties and love a movie about an outcast kid in middle school? Well you can, and that movie has a lot to do with Dog Years, that’s the actual title of Last Call’s latest album. Both have this obvious tone of being apart from the crowd, and just trying to find your footing to keep from going off the deep end. Except in the case of Last Call, Dog Years follows one of the most sung about concepts in pop punk recent years; coming in contact with adulthood and hating it. I too am a “grown-up” who doesn’t fit in because probably like the men in Last Call, I too would rather create something that sit in an office staring at a clock from 9 to 5. If you missed it, Dog Years is all-around, new school pop punk that’s laced with that “why me?” attitude.
The only downside of Dog Years is that it started to lose me at the end. The upside is that there were a lot of songs that kept me busy before I got to about track eight and felt like I wasn’t getting anything new. That lasted only two tracks though. As soon as “Nothing, Ever.” started, I was back in again. So be that’s your warning for what’s towards the end, but don’t give up.
Now to the good stuff…My mom let me and my brothers be individuals, so the idea behind what I think “Generation Gap” means didn’t really fit into my home life, but I know a lot of people who will latch onto this one. To me it’s all about not being what your parents think of as “successful.” Which in the case of being a band, not many parents are on board with that lifestyle for one reason or another. It can be the anthem for a number of other scenarios though; be it you’re a girl who doesn’t think a husband is the ideal, or you’re a guy who just wants to major in art and not engineering like your dad and his dad. Basically, let this song be an assurance that every generation is different, so live your own way. Or that song had nothing to do with that and I just wrote a short answer to a Humanities 101 final…
Title track “Dog Years” is the prime example of the “dammit, when did I get to be this age” song. It talks about not being who you thought you’d be as time added up, and the idea of dropping “out of everything.” That line reminded me of This Time Next Year, minus that song’s about a lady. Another track to point out is “Winter Clothes,” the title and the flow reminded me of The Wonder Years “Hoodie Weather.” Those two were more easy going pop punk, but when it came to tracks that were a little harder and heavier, “Braid” and “Live Like Roark” were there with an adrenaline boost.
A lot of the pop punk from the past few years hasn’t been the same as a decade ago. 2002 was filled with nasally goodness and now it seems to have gone to these grizzly sounding dudes just looking for a way to escape their 20’s, but accepting “this is growing up.” Last Call’s Dog Years is just that. It’s a record for fans of The Wonder Years and The Story So Far. Dog Years is out now, so enjoy no matter if you’re that somber adult looking for a musical pick me up, or an eager youth looking to fill your latest gadget with a new pop punk album.