I Won’t Hold This Against You
For Cleveland, Ohio’s Light Years, I Won’t Hold This Against You is the band’s own Pedestals, Under Soil And Dirt and Your Favourite Weapon – a pace-setting debut that gives 100 per cent every second and every minute. At 12 songs, it’s a tough listen with vocalist Pat Kennedy reflecting about the chips on his shoulder, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a band that sharpens pop punk’s edges more (and with less flannel). “Ringing In My Ears” and “Uphill Battles” are rugged one-way clips of modesty, “Float” is the closest call you’ll get to an ode to Basement’s Colourmeinkindness, and “Nice To Know You” is a head-swelling piece of songwriting that will never leave your side or your conscience.
As much as Light Years hang intros and bridges in all the right places, the quartet wade around in the deep end of punk borrowing chords from indie minors (“Throwing My Life”) and taking the tempo down a notch to coordinate an aggressive and blues-like shade of Sink Or Swim (“Hindsight”). Even “Us v.s. Them” and the full-length’s title track go back and forth, accenting melodic alternative with impressive cohesion that’s full of underrated drum work and a few slight tweaks that make transitions explode inside of your heart. It may be too early to tell, but I Won’t Hold This Against You is a record East Coast rivals should have written a long time ago. Luckily, it belongs to a group of friends who kill the average black-and-white stereotypes with a prominent expansion that’s far from pedestrian.
Listen: “Nice To Know You”, “Put Myself Together”, “I Won’t Hold This Against You” || Watch: “Parking Lots”