Review by Dom Vigil
On the surface, This Is All Now’s new Homecoming EP is just like any other catchy pop-punk album. With strong guitar hooks and simple lines like “Get down with my friends,” in the opening track, “#TEAM” Homecoming threatens to be just another lighthearted and shallow summer EP, but it’s not very hard to dig a little deeper and realize that This Is All Now know exactly what they’re doing. Much of Homecoming is upbeat with rather simple lyrics that are only strengthened by catchy melodies and hard hitting guitar hooks that all come together to make six very memorable songs.
To be honest, “#TEAM” couldn’t be a more perfect opening track. Obviously about having fun with your friends, the lyrics aren’t very hard to understand or decipher, making it easy to focus on the music instead. “#TEAM” isn’t necessarily the deepest or most insightful song, but by the time the catchy as hell chorus comes in, I can guarantee that you won’t care about that. And like I said, This Is All Now’s songwriting is anything but shallow or vapid. If the insanely catchy and memorable chorus of “#TEAM” isn’t enough for you, then the incredible key change toward the end of the song will be. The key change takes you by surprise and shows that This Is All Now is an incredibly talented group of musicians. By the time “#TEAM” fades into “Midnight Kids,” it’s apparent that This Is All Now know how to write summer anthems, and they’re damn good at it.
“Midnight Kids” is another high energy party track, but again, there’s much more to the song than its easy going lyricism and catchiness, as the horn accidents totally make the song. Throughout “Midnight Kids” (and honestly the entire EP) there are these awesome little moments in the songwriting that remind you how talented this group is. “24 Hour Nights,” which features a guest vocal spot from Jason Lancaster is strong because of its orchestral elements. The song is also a great example of strong guest vocals that don’t overpower the song, but rather add to it.
Every song on Homecoming has a very big, anthematic feel, but they all also have their own significant sound. “#TEAM” and “Midnight Kids,” are more party tracks, while “24 Hour Nights,” slows things down with some more serious lyricism, and “Voices” is a huge, stadium ready anthem. “Voices” is actually a really great stand out track, as it is carried more by strong drums and vocals, while most of the songs on the EP are carried heavily by catchy melodies and guitar work. “Voices” is a very proud and positive track, and it only seems to get bigger and bigger as it goes on, with some orchestral elements that only make it sound bigger. On top of that, “Voices” hosts easily some of the strongest and more serious lyricism on the album, with hard-hitting lines such as “We will fight to survive in a world where no one is listening.”
Following “Voices” is the stripped down and serious title track. Easily the heaviest song lyrically, “Homecoming” only goes to show This Is All Now’s versatility. The way that this album progresses is actually quite remarkable, going from catchy party tracks to positive, uplifting anthems to “Homecoming,” with a somber chorus of “Maybe I’m better off alone,” that makes your heart ache.
It’s virtually impossible to find one single flaw on This Is All Now’s Homecoming EP. With six songs that all flow well but also each have their own significant sound, Homecoming is an emotional and musical roller coaster, and by the time it comes to an end with the high energy and poppy bonus track, “Supernova,” you’ll be more than ready to go another round.
Listen to "#TEAM"