ALBUM REVIEW: Homesafe – One

Release Date: June 29th 2018
Label: Pure Noise Records


Hailing from Chicago, Homesafe have put out a couple of self-released EPs over the past few years and now, 2018 sees the band step up to deliver their ambitious and daring debut album, which they have aptly titled ‘One’.

Some may recognise the fiery vocals of Homesafe‘s lead singer Ryan Rumchaks, who is better known for being the guitarist/vocalist in pop-punk group, Knuckle Puck. Don’t let that convince you Homesafe are just a side-project – they’re far too good to be labeled as that.

For starters, the sound of ‘One’ is far more varied than any pop-punk album could wish to be, and draws on a hatful of influences from several areas across the board.

Straight in with ‘Point Break’, there’s a late 90s to early 00s vibe around the ferocity of the storming guitars and Rumchaks‘ passionate, powerful vocals.

This style is prominent throughout, with more examples coming in the form of ‘Say Something’, which could easily be sung by a young Bert McCracken on one of the first records by The Used, and also on ‘Have It All’, which has an air of early Biffy Clyro and Queens Of The Stone Age to it, with its moody, echoing lead guitars and head-turning chord changes.

Elsewhere, lead singles ‘Run’ and the fantastically titled ‘Vanilla-Scented Laser Beams’ show off the record’s most catchy moments, integrating a bouncy pop-punk influence amid emo and grunge tones.

As the album gets past the mid-point, we’re treated to some more considered, laid-back tracks like ‘Stay Away’ and ‘Sideways Sleeper’, which showcase the band’s ability to delve into a pop-rock or ballad sound.

Final track ‘Fin’ serves up a minute-long soft, heartfelt piano sequence that feels like a grand attempt to conclude what is an impressive record.

Of course, as with almost any debut album there are a few creases to iron out, but aside from a few off lyrics here and there, the group pretty much smash the ball out of the park. What’s more, it’s clear that what we have here will only get better with the next record, and to even think about categorising Homesafe as “just another pop-punk band” would be criminal.

Across its 13 tracks, ‘One’ covers a dynamic and diverse range of styles under the alternative umbrella. If you’re looking for something a bit different and cleverly ambitious, then this might be the album for you.