Clocking in at 33 minutes across 10 songs, Auckland band Melanie ‘s ’42 Losers’ is short, sweet, fun, and deeply reminiscent of youth.
Between snippets of everyday life (ordering from McDonalds, laughing with your mates), powerful guitar riffs, and punk-as lyrics that seem to be scrawled from a 14-year-old’s notebook (“if you are what you eat, then I hate what I eat” – Year Six Speeches), ’42 Losers’ touches on the many challenging cornerstones of young adulthood.
With Joe Gasparich on drums, Robin Davey Lusk on guitar, William Dentice on bass and James Dentice providing vocals and guitar, a heavy sound fuelled by power chords and smashing drums creates a blood pumping soundtrack that will make you want to raise your arms in the air and shout along. Melanie describe their sound as midwest emo/punk, and it’s hard to miss the influence on this debut album. While more punk than midwest sweethearts American Football, the “emo” aspect of this album still shines through, not only with thumping rhythms and guitar noise.
The ‘bored-and-pessimistic’ stylings of Dentice’s vocals belong to generations of young male singers of the emo/punk persuasion trying to break away from everyday life. The familiarity of Dentice’s vocals, akin to Dan Lampton of Real Friends and Matthew Pryor of The Get Up Kids, feel like a safety blanket, a reminder of voices that carried us from the harder times of our youth. It’s oddly comforting to see the life and soul of emo/pop punk lives on through these local creatives operating in our underground music scenes.
One of ’42 Losers” more quiet moments comes in the form of Half to Death, a slow and quite beautiful 4-minute interlude. Driven by a simple chord progression, it’s a nice break from the otherwise loud and powerful tracks that make up the rest of the album. Kachow! includes some effective snippets which adds an element of fun, between the punkier Triple Knot and Year Six Speeches.
Melanie have made an ambitious leap in attempting to revive the emo/pop punk scene, often playing into tropes of those genres. The sound is incredibly familiar, and it will be interesting to see how this Auckland act progress in their musical development.