The Wonder Years – The Hum Goes On Forever (Album Review)

The Wonder Years – The Hum Goes On Forever
Released: September 23, 2022

Lineup:

Dan “Soupy” Campbell // lead vocals
Casey Cavaliere // lead guitar, backing vocals
Matt Brasch // guitar, vocals
Josh Martin // bass, vocals
Nick Steinborn // keyboards, guitars, backing vocals
Mike Kennedy // drums

Online:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Official Website

There are two types of fans that The Wonder Years have inspired over the years.

The first type of fan is the pop punk kid who uncovered some of their favourite bands today almost a decade ago, along the lines of Man Overboard, The Story So Far, State Champs and of course, The Wonder Years. You wear your pop punk heart on your sleeve, throw pizza parties with your small group of friends every weekend and probably drink way too much beer. Your go-to karaoke song is ‘My Last Semester‘ and you’ve thrashed Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing on your record player so much, you need more than one copy. To summarise, you’re more familiar with the band’s first two LPs than anything else.

The second lot of you, however, were part of that first group, but you got older, and so did your music tastes. Let’s just say, you aged like a fine wine, getting into bands like Turnstile, La Dispute, and the like. But even so, you’ve still stuck by The Wonder Years ethos through The Greatest Generation and No Closer to Heaven.

No matter which group you fall into, The Hum Goes On Forever is going to sit well with the entire pop punk community. But I’ll be honest — the last album I listened to from The Wonder Years was No Closer to Heaven, and while I did enjoy it for awhile, I didn’t feel that punch I loved from their earlier material. That’s why I’m a little nervous about going into the band’s brand new album. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect here. Would I hate it? Would I get bored? I’m definitely a listener that is more familiar with their earlier material — pre-2015.

Spoiler alert though: it’s not a complete miss of a record. On the contrary, The Hum Goes On Forever is the band’s most powerful record yet, in an attempt to bring together all eras of the band under one umbrella. From the opening bars of ‘Doors I Painted Shut’, you can most definitely feel vocalist Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell’s struggle to find his words in his music. This record is a culmination of the musician’s challenges throughout a pandemic, finding deeper purpose and ultimately, coming to terms with his new role as a father.

Amidst all the dark tones and emotional vulnerability though, the band pulls through with some of their most put-together work yet. ‘Wyatt’s Song (Your Name)‘ will have the pop punk kids from 2012 dust off those snapbacks and kick up a storm in the pit, as Soupy comes to terms with becoming a father for the first time. ‘Oldest Daughter‘ continues that fast-paced pit action, bringing to light that punchy style that gave The Wonder Years prominence in the 2010s.

The first turning point of the record comes about with ‘Cardinals II‘ which acts as a follow-up to the original track that appear on 2015’s No Closer to Heaven. If you appreciated their later material, this one’s going to get you in a good mood. However, it’s also going to entice rowdy fans to take a moment and appreciate the beauty of this song, and Campbell’s storytelling-like narrative. This is also evident in ‘Lost in the Lights‘ — a song that acts as an anthem of gratitude for everchanging moments in life.

But it’s the album’s lead singles, ‘Summer Clothes‘ and ‘Low Tide‘ that collectively had me most pumped for The Wonder Years‘ new era. While ‘Summer Clothes‘ had me longing for summer sunsets with my person, what stood out as I listened to ‘Low Tide‘ a million times over was the cathartic upbeat melody that was a big highlight on 2011’s Suburbia. With Soupy singing about the struggle to find more seratonin, the rest of the band pull together with a fine taste of an emo pop punk anthem for the ages.

Even though State Champs confidently gave themselves the title of being the “kings of the new age” earlier this year (and we love them for it), The Wonder Years saw that and are like… hey, wait a minute. Honestly, this is the greatest album from The Wonder Years released since 2015. The Hum Goes On Forever manages to instill everything we enjoyed from the band over the years, whilst at the same time evolving their craft into a maturity beyond their years. I’ll definitely be finding myself subconsciously going back to many tracks on this album for the next few months to come.

What kinda pop punk fan would you be if you didn’t give it a go though?

The Wonder Years – The Hum Goes On Forever tracklisting:

1. Doors I Painted Shut
2. Wyatt’s Song (Your Name)
3. Oldest Daughter
4. Cardinals II
5. The Paris of Nowhere
6. Summer Clothes
7. Lost in the Lights
8. Songs About Death
9. Low Tide
10. Laura & the Beehive
11. Old Friends Like Lost Teeth
12. You’re the Reason I Don’t Want the World to End

Rating: 9/10
The Hum Goes On Forever is out now through Hopeless Records. Listen/purchase here
Review by Tamara May @citylightstam

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About Tamara May (1085 Articles)
Wall of Sound's Head of Album Reviews. Weekend Content. Pop Punk Enthusiast.