On the new album from the pop-punk band, Rational Anthem, called It’s Only Permanent they fully embrace their shiny personalities and have created a collection of songs that are a hell of a lot of fun. Led by the sister/brother duo of Noelle and Pete Stolp, Rational Anthem initially reminded me of some early Fenix Tx records with a mix of the pop sensibilities of Allister. Their longtime friend, Christoper Hembrough, rounds out the band, and Rational Anthem has a lot going in their favor on their latest effort.
The first track and lead single, “Welcome to Paradise City,” sets the tone early and is an excellent introduction to not only the style of the album but the band themselves as well. Other tracks such as “Unimaginary Girlfriend,” which initially premiered on Chorus.fm a a few weeks back, rock with great precision, confidence, and composure. The band never really lose focus on what they’re good at pop-punk breakdowns with some great harmonies and breakneck beats.
Other songs like “Geographic Dysphoria” are real-life accounts of the band moving from their small town in Florida to Iowa City in hopes of finding some new inspiration for both the album as well as the touring routes that they were not accustomed to. This relocation may have been enough for most bands to determine the direction of their music into a bummer story. Still, Rational Anthem takes it all in stride gracefully on this record. The uplifting themes of rolling with the punches and realizing that life is never going to be perfect are all easily relatable and charming, simultaneously.
The band seems poised for great things moving forward. With just a little more touring and writing experience in the near future as a unit, I would expect even more great material from Rational Anthem. They didn’t reinvent pop-punk on It’s Only Permanent, by any means, but they do the genre proud and faithfully as they carry the torch for the new wave of bands in our scene making noise in all the right ways.