While never quite managing to boom into the same success levels of their contemporaries, Ohio’s Light Years have dedicated themselves to nearly a decade of pop-punk releases. Arguably one of the most underrated bands in pop-punk, the quartet are back with their third full-length effort, ‘Afterlife’.
Nothing says pop-punk more than a song about growing up, and as soon as the record begins, the band offer a slice of pop-punk nostalgia that certainly pulls you into the record. ‘Back Then’ is high energy, something of a theme on this album, and packed with angst. Some solid drum work and catchy guitars take centre stage, making it a track difficult to forget.
‘Paradise’ and ‘It Doesn’t Matter’ follow suit and continue to be fast paced and punchy. ‘Bottle Rocket’ and ‘Graveyard’ are the most stereotypical pop-punk tracks on the record, and are reminiscent of genre staple names such as Neck Deep. Upbeat in tempo, these tracks can easily be imagined being played live.
‘Bottom Of The Ocean’ provides a slight departure in sound as the track slows things down, almost too much. It’s long and has a descending chord progression, which becomes a little too dreary after a while. Nevertheless, the tempo quickly picks back up once again with ‘Lost On The Way Home’.
Although the tracks are mainly energetic, loud, and define pop-punk, the album has the tendency to merge into one, with nothing really standing out as a key contender or flagship moment. It’s hard to find a sense of uniqueness within the record and something that makes Light Years distinctly ‘them’. Some tracks, such as ‘Burning In My Blood’, sound like any other pop-punk track from the early 2000s.
Despite this, Light Years are a band that have dug their nails into the ground and kept pushing forward in their tenure as an outfit. ‘Afterlife’ is another decent pop-punk record from a band that are still waiting for their game changer release, which no doubt will happen eventually.