My mood swings swing wider than a home run hitter in baseball. This issue, I’m not that into pop punk. I guess I have a little bit of pent up anger. Maybe, I’m just a big asshole who should give up music. But I do sometimes see the light at the end of the tunnel. One thing for sure, American pop punk is flooded with cookie cutter, paint-by-the-numbers bands. Something I find interesting is if a band is not from the USA, I seem a little more interested. I have come to really appreciate a release by Crackle. They seem to put out pop punk that is not only energetic, but raw at the same time. There have been very few releases that I have not liked. What caught my attention of this release was that this band took matters in their own hands. They worked hard and long to save and build a home studio because they never liked the results of their recordings when they contracted a third party to record them. I have been there before. I don’t know how hard it is to build your own studio. I have been fortunate enough to have friends and relatives lately who have the gear and the know-how. But one thing I do know is it’s not cheap! Now in their own hands, they spend four long years recording a new album’s worth of material and re-recording songs they were not satisfied with in the past. The result is quite impressive. The songs have a strong Propagandhi meets Consumed sound and structure. The production is solid but not overproduced. Patience was their friend because I have no complaints about the mix. The guitars are up front but not overpowering. The bass and drum sound is solid. The vocals are in the right place and everything sounds individual and at the same time together. Their first attempt at self-recording is impressive. I’m looking forward to hearing more. This is their best effort to date.