Rock music is here to stay, thanks to ‘COPINGMECHANISM’ | Arts & Culture

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If you haven’t noticed, pop-punk is enjoying a revival. Initiated by pop-punk pioneers blink-182 and Green Day, this alt-rock subgenre has seemed to be enjoying a bit of a lull in recent years among the current generation of up-and-coming artists. But now WILLOW is here to bring it back, and she’s bolder and punchier than ever on her new album.”“.

Similar to Machine Gun Kelly’s career shift from rap to pop-punk sound with “Tickets to My Downfall” in 2020, WILLOW joined the party following the release of her single “transparentsoul” in 2021, featuring none other than the drummer of blink-182 Travis Barker. Since then, the singer has made a dramatic career move into the pop-punk scene, bringing the sound to a new, young audience and serving as a frontrunner for the emerging punk revival. Her new project further cements her emo punk renaissance, with airtight performances, bigger melodies, and a personality and flair we’ve never seen from her before.

The opening track” it’s my fault” brings infectious energy from the jump. The catchy, easy-to-please guitar riff in the intro is fun and heartbreaking, matching a simple vocal melody after a few bars. Just when you think know where the song is going, comes a ferocious change in the guitar, bringing an intimidating and violent intensity that shakes the core. WILLOW accompanies the dark and pounding guitar riff with a fiery cry that fills your veins, leading to the anthemic hook that not come without banging your head in the air – let’s just say this track favors people with longer hair.The vocals are raw and ambitious, and the instrumentation is next-level with a menacing force that will lift you from your seat. This song easily claims to be one of my favorite songs of the year.

“Falling Endlessly” keeps the energy high with a fast pace and a demanding sense of urgency. Slappy drums kick off the track to drive the beat forward, which is quickly met by another anthem on the chorus with soaring vocals that can fill the room. The positive, upbeat feeling of the music contradicts the lyrical content, where WILLOW projects her feelings of being stuck and hopeless, and almost getting lost along the way. Nonetheless, the track sounds sunny and bright, like an adventurous summer day, while staying true to some of the darker, heavier musical elements that define the punk aesthetic. It’s easy to get lost in the track’s radiant charisma, despite some of its ominous themes.

Following the wild and aggressive nature of the first two tracks, “curious/furious” begins with a slower, wistful vibe, featuring WILLOW’s sweet vocals about dealing with the mental battles many people face in life. The energetic melody kicks in, which again brings a bloody feeling amid the dark lyrics about his inner struggles, which can be hard to avoid. Sonically, the verses and chorus feature an interesting juxtaposition in mood, shifting from a cloudy, depressive sound to a more upbeat tone, which helps to more clearly express his unstable emotions through the sound as well as the words.

“Split” digs even deeper into the murky, dark energy felt in “Curious/Furious.” A dark guitar melody at the start paired with WILLOW’s softer, more relaxed vocals provide the tracklist with the flip side of the more energetic moods heard at the start of the album. The rhythm picks up further in the verses and completely explodes in the chorus, but the overall feeling remains more mournful and reflective. Additional layering of vocals gives more flavor to the melody with roaring drums to fill in the gaps. At this point, it’s clear that WILLOW knows how to make songs that really stick.

After a few sweet moments found in the middle of the tracklist, the strong aggression returns with “ur a but this time with even more power and force. This track brings back the dense metallic aesthetic through the thundering guitar riff that growls in your ears. The guitar picking style is reminiscent of Metallica or other metal bands, giving the album a taste of a heavier rock flavor and contributing to a more versatile rock-inspired palette. Unlike most metal bands this track was potentially influenced by, WILLOW features light and airy vocals that float over the track, adding a feminine touch to a predominantly male genre, which is refreshing on the whole track. ‘album.

The album ends with “BATSHIT!”, mixing many stylistic choices found throughout the rest of the tracklist. Soaring drums, a loud guitar melody at the start, a softer change to the verses, a climactic chorus with WILLOW screaming from the rooftops – this song has it all. The track seems to briefly encapsulate everything she wanted to create through the project in a conclusive way.

At the end of the album’s fast-paced 30-minute listening experience, WILLOW’s fervor and passionate energy still resonates in your head – in the best possible way. This new release sees her fully embrace her career-defining punk style and expression, paving the way for a new generation to jump on the pop-punk wave. It’s certain now that WILLOW has really found her form, and she’s here to make one thing clear: rock is not dead!


Rock music is here to stay, thanks to 'COPINGMECHANISM'

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