I know I’m not “pro,” but fuck it. I listened to this record a couple of times and it slid right by me. Put it on, zip, half an hour passed, I put another record on. An oily egg on a teflon pan. But I was taking a shower, where a lot of the musical decisions in my life occur. I ask myself questions like “Do I like this band?” “Hype?” The true test is if I’m humming something I can’t trace. It means a band’s wiggled into my subconscious somehow. That happened with the Loved Ones. Little by little, the songs stopped being one mass with a couple of bright spots, and they separated into their own worlds. Same thing happened to me with Alkaline Trio. It brings me to this conclusion: sophisticated pop punk that drips a Lifetime-like, melancholic romanticism—lyrically, there’s longing, pure intentions, and hope—and shows a tender underbelly that contrasts nicely with the recent flood of intentionally ooky spooky eyeliner and man-crying bands.