July 31, 2007 - Virgin
Despite that he smokes more weed than B-Real and inexplicably sang “I’m gonna tear your ass up like we just got married” on the single from his band’s 2005 album Based On A True Story, Starting Line bassist/vocalist Kenny Vasoli may be the most underrated songwriter in the punk genre. Sure, he doesn’t have the political prowess of Billie Joe Armstrong or the literary knowledge of Dustin Kensrue, but on Direction, Vasoli & Co. prove they’re more than capable of crafting flawless pop-punk songs that should appeal to anyone with a pulse. Featuring an instantly infectious melody and bouncing backbeat, “21” is an ideal back-to-school anthem, while the syncopated “Island” has a chorus so huge it literally sounds like it’s exploding out of the speakers (a fact no doubt helped by Howard Benson’s stellar production work). “Somebody’s gonna miss us when nobody’s here for this song,” Vasoli sings on “Somebody’s Gonna Miss Us” over a driving backbeat that sounds eerily like a punk version of Nada Surf, and he’s right. Let’s just hope there are enough of us out there listening to prove him wrong.
ROCKS LIKE: Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This To Memory
The Honorary Title’s Scream And Light Up The Sky
Midtown’s Forget What You Know