Homesafe - One
Review by Seth Wood
I first heard about Homesafe because I’m a giant fan of Knuckle Puck and had heard that one of the members had started a side project. So of course, I was expecting something fairly Knuckle-Puck-esque with Homesafe’s first full-length release, something with a ton of energy that just made you want to sing along—which is the basic allure of pop-punk, right? I scream my ass off at Knuckle Puck shows, or even when I just have one of their albums cranked up in my car. I was hoping for the same feeling when I hit play on the Homesafe record. I could not have been more surprised with what I found myself listening to.
Genre-wise, I would call One a pop-punk album, but it isn’t at all carried by the vocals. There are plenty of catchy melodies and strained screams, plenty of power chords; there is a ton of energy… but there are some experimental qualities to the album as well. In the very first track, “Point Blank,” near the end, the song breaks down and the volume becomes quiet throughout. The vocals can hardly be heard in the background, and there is a guitar melody that inches closer and closer into focus. It all sounds a little blurry, far away and mysterious, but it gradually all comes back up and escalates into an overwhelming gale of a final chorus that really puts some electricity in your veins. There were more surprises everywhere throughout the album after that. I loved getting knocked off balance by the tempo change during “Run,” and I flinched at the almost inappropriately huge drum fill at the end of “Say Something” (the guy just shreds something wicked while the song is basically trying to end. It’s crazy), and I found myself lost in the clouds of a trance during the sad acoustic interlude titled “I Don’t Know How.”
This is the best way I can explain my experience of listening to the album: okay, so picture a hypothetical Mt. Pop-Punk, with its spiky hair and propensity to jump up and down on-stage while playing its Fender bass guitar that is hanging almost obscenely low (I’ve never seen a mountain with hair either, but that’s not the point. Can we focus, please?). Anyway, musicians have been shredding down Mt. Pop-punk for 20 or so years now, so there are some grooves that have been worn into the mountain. The average pop-punk album takes you down those grooves, and you stay within their walls until you arrive safely at the bottom of the mountain. Listening to Homesafe’s album, it felt like I was jumping in and out of different grooves at very high speeds, and at times just completely flying into the air not knowing where I was going to end up. I yelled at my car stereo while listening to this album, you guys. I really did. (“What?! You’re allowed to do that?! That was so awesome!”)
This isn’t an album to scream lyrics along to (though it does offer that in many places). It is an album to put on when you have a long drive ahead of you, or when you are up at night and sleep is nowhere near. It is an album that can pull you in and entertain you for hours (after one listen through, I started it right back up). It’s an album that should be heard as an album, at a time when bands seem all too happy to just make records that sound more like songs randomly strewn together—and I loved it.
LISTEN TO: "Time Ain't Free"
STAY CONNECTED WITH HOMESAFE: https://www.facebook.com/HomesafeIL/