Album: Even on the Worst Nights
Label: No Sleep Records
As music fans, we all listen to a lot of different bands in our attempt to find “the one.” When we start dating, we get to know different types of people to figure out what we like and don’t like in a significant other. This same attitude can be seen in any real music lover. We all listen to different styles and a variety of bands in order to find that band that just fits us. I found the band Mixtapes in the Winter of 2010, and right away they were the perfect fit. Mixtapes brought that same uneasiness about the future I was holding deep in my gut, but included the hope that sooner or later things will work out in the end. The combination won me over. Now it is because of that same cautious hopefulness (and so, so much more) that Mixtapes’ debut full-length, Even on the Worst Nights, has already earned the honor of being another album that just makes sense to me and doesn’t refrain from putting a smile on my face every minute it plays.
A lot of people who think their idea of journalism is sitting on a forum and blasting bands, are quick to say that Mixtapes’ sound is too simple and/or that they aren’t really that good of musicians. To put it bluntly, people who say that need to get their heads out of their ass. Yes, Mixtapes play with a standard punk structure that has four chords, but if you look at their music at this base of a level, then music of this variety probably isn’t for you anyways. Even on the Worst Nights is the catchiest punk album of the year, and one of the most fun in the past five. Every song on the album has its own distinct feel, but at the same time the entirety of the album comes together in such a way where it’s not possible to listen to just one song, but rather, you play the album as a work.
Vocally, singers Maura Weaver and Ryan Rockwell have never sounded better. On their earlier releases, the two would vary on who sounded better. On Even on the Worst Nights, the two perfectly hit their stride and they found the chemisty and harmonies that perfectly compliment each other. Their progression was teased on their song “I Accept That”, which came out on their re-release of their album Maps, but Mixtapes have really stepped up their game with this release.
The thing that really put me over the edge in my love of this new album is the lyrics. The appeal of Mixtapes for me has always been their lyrical awkwardness, brewing with discussion of not fitting into social settings, and figuring out girls when you don’t even know who you are. The band has their fair share of tongue-in-cheek lyrics that they have become notorious for, with jabs at current Grammy Award winning artists in “I’ll Give You a Hint, Yes”. However, where they really shine is when they are at their most honest about their lives in songs like “You Must Not Be From Around Here”.
On a personal level, I have a hard time keeping a lot of things together, and it’s albums such as Even on the Worst Nights that remind me to keep things simple, take it slow, and enjoy the time I’ve been given. This album is bound to find its way into a wide variety of headphones, may they be of the teenager whose first significant other broke up with them, or the twenty-something like myself who is just trying to figure out how the hell he’s going to juggle the seemingly endless amount of things in his life, and it’s going to hit them. Hard. Right now, Even On The Worst Nights is my favorite album of the year, and frankly, there aren’t any albums (unless something surprises me) that I can perceive taking that spot from it. Mixtapes solidified themselves as a pop-punk powerhouse, and Even on the Worst Nights is a shining example of an album that can always make you feel okay, even on the worst nights.
Written By: Tyler Osborne (Follow him on Twitter as he talks about living in DC for the Summer)