Release Date: Jul 10, 2015
Record label: Jade Tree Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk-Pop
When did pop punk get so introspective? Whatever happened to those bleach-haired pranksters who held the scene in a stranglehold and noogied it into submission throughout the ‘90s? For starters, their fanbases grew up and realized that casual racism and misogyny aren’t really things worth celebrating in song. Kids who came of age during the long winter of the Bush years never had the luxury of living in the Clintonian fantasy world of their forebears. Their insecurities grew at the same alarming pace as their student debt, but then again, so did their armor.
Mable is the third LP from Pennsylvania pop-punks Spraynard, whose straightforward, unmistakably earnest style helped them become a staple of the East Coast D.I.Y. scene in the late 2000s. They recorded a couple of well-received albums for California indie Asian Man Records, then, just as their star seemed to be rising, they put the band on ice in 2013.
Pop punk exists to voice a narrow set of emotions, and per the Descendents, it's never supposed to "grow up." Still, you can move the furniture around a little, make some tweaks here and there. Spraynard's third album Mable does away with the sophomoric song titles ("Internet May Mays", "Are You Ladies Familiar with the Work of Zach and Cody"), paper-thin mixing, and pitchy vocals of past releases for a buttoned-up (but nonetheless boisterous) sound. With Mike Bardzik —a musician/producer known for his work with the Casualties and Everyone Everywhere —manning the boards, Spraynard’s punkish project has graduated from bedrooms and basements to a bigger stage.