HOSPITAL JOB: The Believer: CD/LP

Hospital Job is fronted by Luke McNeill, drummer of Illinois champs The Copyrights, and also features members of Horrible Things, who have been near the top of my pop punk list since about halfway through the first song I heard by them. Accordingly, The Believer is an anthemic blast more than worthy of its pedigree. Eleven tracks of tight, melodic pop punk with as many singalong choruses as whoa-ohs and group harmonies. Not to say that these guys stick to the mold of one of punk’s most formulaic sub-subgenres—there are enough quirky chord changes and oddball fills to keep listeners on their toes. In fact, the album’s high point may also be its most unexpected. “The Scrivener” dials back the four-on-the-floor energy in favor of a slow, dreamy swell that breaks at just the right moment. Don’t take this the wrong way, but remember when Blink-182 started getting really, really weird? This is like what it could have been like if that had worked out shockingly well for them. That’s an alternate universe I wouldn’t mind living in. 

 –Indiana Laub (It’s Alive / Insubordination)