After a long hiatus, August Premier has been resurrected to give the masses a long-missed glimpse into the early days of pop punk with their third album Happy Miserable. Very nostalgic to say the least, it aligns itself more along the lines of the late ’90s/early 2000s of pop punk, like Blink 182 or Alkaline Trio (fact: Happy Miserable was produced by long-time Alkaline Trio producer Matt Allison).
The first track is “Trenches” featuring Tim Rogner of legendary pop punk fame Allister, which was one of the fore-fathers of pop punk as one of the very first bands signed by Drive-Thru Records. He is also featured on two other tracks on the album; you can read about and stream the track “Worlds Away” that features Tim Rogner Here on Mind Equals Blown.
Back to the point, “Trenches” starts off with a powerful intro that immediately brings back that previously mentioned nostalgic feeling. Very straightforward and full of energy, it’s got everything from a familiar lyrical structure in the chorus that is reflective of the golden age (“I was down on luck / I was drunk on memories / I was down on luck / but my dreams were still the same”), to the catchy and infectious music of the chorus. A few “whoas” are thrown in at the end, along with a simple yet unique guitar solo to help end the track on a high note. This sets the bar very high for the rest of the album.
Seemingly aimed at the females with its bouncy, anthemic structure, “Foo Figgity” is one of those tracks that one can see being quoted and spread among like-minded groups of pop punk lovers. “There’s a silence / That will never give in,” “This could mean / The end of all of this / Open your eyes / To find there’s so much time / Left for you to find,” and “Health is not the issue / Light it up and watch it burn” are a few examples of awesome chorus and verse lines in the song. These guys are deserving of a much, much larger fan base than they currently have.
Skate punk? Check. “Grey Skies” literally makes you want to flip on your PS1 or N64 and play some old school Tony Hawk (or actually go out and skate if you’re not a couch potato). It has soaring vocals along with faster-paced music that just can’t be compared to anything else, yet has influences from all of the old school skate punk bands. It’s truly a standout track on the album.
These guys still have that special touch of the golden age of pop punk in them. This is an album that will make the older generation reminisce about the “good ol’ days” with its catchy chorus, driving verse lines, and, perhaps the album’s best quality, instantly memorable lyrics.
As a personal note, I hope to one day see August Premier headlining stadiums like Blink 182. They are more than deserving of this high pop punk honor. Be sure to pre-order the album, which drops on March 27th, on their Bandcamp page Here.
Also be sure to read Stephen Young’s excellent interview with the band that covers a lot of their history Here.