Do they celebrate Easter overseas or is that just another American holiday built up around stuffing our faces? That thought crossed my mind today as I prepared myself to sit down and get into Willowside Park’s latest. A pop punk band from England, this group’s Hollowed Out was what you’d expect but not much more.
The record starts out with a lot drama in “Embers” and while I loved the music that surrounded “Old Sea Wall,” the vocals were lacking just a bit. The same can and is going to be said about the energetic “Atlas.” Up to this point, I could see this band opening for any pop punk band out there right now and perhaps gaining the attention and fandom of the younger kids in the audience who’d be drawn to the pure liveliness, but it’d take something more to get someone my age to hop on board. Which “Fading” does. It comes in at the end and is the best one. It showcases this band has something to them and with them being young, they have room to grow.
Put Willowside Park on the right tour and their energy alone will garner them some young girls and guys at their merch table, but what I would’ve liked was a little more depth in what they were delivering. With that, if you like pop punk that scrapes the surface of what the genre is capable of, then you check out Hollowed Out, out April 8.
It’s weird to think back and realize that one of your favorite bands hasn’t written many of your favorite songs. Not just songs you like hearing live or that come on and make you smile, but the ones that mean as much to you as an old friend. New Found Glory has been one of the only bands to stick with me from my teen years into today. The others either don’t exist, I grew out of or started making music that failed in comparison to when I first fell in love. Not NFG though, yeah – I’d take some older records over some more recent ones but all in all, you can’t hate on this band. They come out and give it their all each and every time and even when one of their own fucks up – they shake it off and continue on. All that said though, with all the albums and all the songs only two are, again, like old friends.
This past week I got the chance to see four out of the however many panels at PaleyFest. It’s a TV fan’s dream come true – in some ways. There are a lot of lows about it, but the one thing I walked away with was the cult that is the fandom of American Horror Story. They screamed, they cried – they made me a little scared but that’s really why that show has been able to stick around. That’s why anything in entertainment exists and I think the cast and creators of that show in particular welcome the crazy.
I was thinking about that as Wendy Williams started talking about Justin Bieber breaking hearts during his latest tour by bowing out of meet and greets because they’re just too hard for him to do. I get that his fans can be a little much, but from what I heard – that package was like 20 people, it’s not hard to control 20 people and tell them, “Hey, if you want to be here, you’re going to act civil. Don’t pull his damn hair, don’t try and impregnate yourself. Calm it down and chill.” Williams pointed out how fans make the star and even on days when she has other things on her mind – she pulls through and meets with fans after the show because that’s just part of the job. I agree 100%. I’m not saying celebrities have to be like Taylor Swift, who Williams believes is “WEIRD” for having fans at her house and whatnot, but when the time is appropriate – take the time to be nice. Plus, Bieber’s fans spent some $2,000 for meet and greets. Thankfully with proof of purchase, they can get refunds.