REVIEW: WAR GENERATION – START SOMEWHERE NEVER SURRENDER (2013)
In spite of being out for a few months, Start Somewhere Never Surrender from War Generation is still going unheard by the masses. The emo-influenced rock band has a feel more upbeat that many of its pensive counterparts – such as Into It. Over It., The World Is A Beautiful Place And I’m No Longer Afraid to Die, Joie De Vivre, and the like. Of note is War Generation’s heritage. One of the quintessential emo bands of the past decade, Further Seems Forever lived out the meat of its career on Tooth and Nail Records but transitioned through a trio of vocalists. Chris Carabba moved on to Dashboard Confessional fame after the band’s first record The Moon is Down, but many love Further Seems Forever’s Hide Nothing record as well. The vocalist for the Hide Nothing era, Jon Bunch has re-emerged as frontman for War Generation.
War Generation is plainly meant to stand apart from Bunch’s heritage. The emo vocals are still there but the album rocks in a driving way that Further Seems Forever never had. “Scratch to Survive” is a good example of this dichotomy, with the snare-led drumming combined with the pensive singing. The proceeding “War Generation” (not a typo – the track is the band’s namesake) carries an almost arena rock sensibility with some of the most powerful drumming heard on the record. “Wake Up” sounds like rock anthem Jimmy Eat World forgot to write in their Bleed American (and earlier) era, while “Red Hand” leans more into pop-punk territory. “Hybrid Moments” an odd title for a ballad, mellows things out the most we’ll hear on the record – but not in a negative-moody way. The tone set early on the album in maintained but in a slower tempo this time around. The catchiness continues on songs like the hyper “Hardcore Love.”
War Generation have crafted an essential emo-flavored rock and roll album for 2013. Why this record hasn’t had more exposure is simply beyond me. The album isn’t always ear-grabbing in a profound way, yet when it is you’ll be glad you picked it up.