There is only so much current “pop-punk” I can tolerate. I’ve suddenly aged well past my youth, and constantly complain about “that racket” and “loud noisy smut”. I’m not usually impressed with what everyone else is loudly listening to.
But, Moving Brooklyn‘s debut EP Intervals has the potential to temporarily change my perception. I contribute this alternation to the band’s ability to create a sense of community with the way it handles its sound. The first track, “If I Ever”, is the best example of an overall, powerful ambiance that creates a sense of reliability. The general feeling is that of loss – clearly stated in the chorus with the lines “Trying, trying to get you back/you shoot, shoot me down” – but the song’s greatest element is its conclusion, when Moving Brooklyn includes a sing-along tone to reiterate the heartbreak and enviable pain. The picture painted in my mind – of a group of friends chiming in to add depth and character to this song – highlights the band’s efforts and demonstrates a major strength. That technique seems almost embedded in pop-punk, that friendship community that’s unbreakable, but I think Moving Brooklyn utilizes it well.
The band also consistently sticks to an upbeat, rough-around-the-edges rhythm. “Symmetry” sounds a little tougher than the other tracks but keeps up with the pace of the album. The song certainly pulls its weight, with pauses and breaks that cause tension, but adds to the influence. “Divorce Rock Record” is fast. I imagine this track really pleases the rowdy crowds who need that perfect song to properly headbang. “Parlor Tricks” is the obligatory “slow jam”, but still heightens with an increased melody. That increased melody continues on “Actors”, but the sound there is a little tighter and sounds more professional. But I was really impressed with the way “Good Thing I’ve Learned” utilizes the bad-boy song persona. It’s the angsty black sheep on an otherwise cheerful album. I like its boldness and would deem it the best track.
The band may have the potential to temporarily change my perception, but I’m not exactly sure it’ll have a lasting effect. Eventually, the things that set the group apart musically mush and start to sound repetitive and a little dull. It’s a great first impression, but, over and over, it’s bleak. The content is fine, until it’s tedious and redundant, leading to a lack of focus. All of the positives create a generically good first attempt, but I think the band has yet to really detour from the pack. The pop-punk persona fits well with the others who claim this title, but in order to stand out, Moving Brooklyn might need a little more force. I think they have the ability, they just have to harness the power.