Everyone wants to be a pop punk superstar. There are those who embrace it, while others despise it, but secretly wish to be it. With all the success that Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, and their peers have had, it comes as no surprise that many new bands try to emulate it. All Time Low, June, and countless others have tried their hand at it, with mixed results. Enter Scenes From A Movie into the pop-punk arena. If you took Brendan Urie’s vocals and dubbed them over Fall Out Boy’s Take This To Your Grave, you would end up with The Pulse, the debut album from the quintet. What it lacks in originality, it makes up with catchy hooks, infectious melodies, and an energy many bands in the genre lack these days.
Produced by Marc McCluskey (The Get Go) and Mike Green (Paramore, The Matches), The Pulse beats with 11 high-octane tracks that really draw you in. The album kicks off with “Just Ask Us,” which flows with a slight dark undertone throughout. Guitarists Jon Ewing and Luke Del Papa really show off their chops on this song and many others. “Save You” is a pummeling song with a big hook. Which is the best thing about the album, it hits hard while maintaining a nice hook within.
“Heartbeat From Hell” is a rousing ditty, with steady playing from drummer Jared Miller as vocalist Tony Bush carries the song and guitars needle in and out. “If I Die” has a spy-theme vibe throughout, setting up a different vibe different from the previous tracks. “Hang Your Halo” will definitely be a favorite, as Ewing and Del Papa are lively on guitar and Bush anxiously spits out his words.
“Detective, Detective” is a cunning track, featuring a seductive guitar riff and an attitude-filled tone of voice from Bush. “It’s My Game I Can’t Lose” will get you off your seat and into your dancing shoes. The album’s closer is reminiscent of another pop-rock band on the rise, Boys Like Girls. “Goodbye Reckless” begins with spacey keys and Bush’s breathy singing before the guitars and drums punctuate the track. It’s the slowest, most “emotionally heavy” song on the album and finishes the album decently; it’s not the best track, but it would’ve been out of place if not placed at the end.
Scenes From A Movie aims to join The Graduate’s Anhedonia as one of the breakout albums of 2007. While it’s nothing original or ground-breaking, it’s damn good pop-punk that’ll please many fans of the genre. It’s not watered down, it’s in your face and features everything I want out of the genre: big hooks, big guitars, and attitude. So grab a bucket of popcorn and a Coke and enjoy The Pulse, as this Movie won’t be receiving any rotten tomatoes.