Although there’s a grounded, almost downbeat, core to Rebuilder’s ‘Sounds From The Massachusetts Turnpike’, it doesn’t necessarily make it a downbeat listen.
Taking cues from acts at the more ‘rock’ end of the punk spectrum – think Against Me, Menzingers and Red City Radio – there’s an undercurrent of positivity that sweeps through their spiky, pop-punk tinged numbers. It’s also a huge amount of fun, as evidenced by the monstrously infectious ‘Mile Or An Inch’, a song so buoyant it could be used as a flotation device. Taken in microcosm, it is a massive level up from 2015’s ‘Rock & Roll In America’, brimming with a positive message that acknowledges the challenges life throws at you.
Yet it is no one off. Instead, every single one of the six songs on ‘Sounds From…’ is a winner, beating with a battered heart and built for a moshpit workout. ‘Get Up’ is a riot from start to finish, backed by another deliriously bubbly chorus, while the Lifetime-repping ‘The World Is An Asshole’ drops the pace and ups the lyrical dexterity.
Even in its more direct moments, such as ‘Nasty Habit’, there’s a strong mental health message to Rebuilder’s songs, and it’s to the credit of songwriters Sal Medrano and Craig Stanton that they can push this to the fore without losing the drive. Instead, they often look to add a positive resolution – or at least an empowering message – to their tales of mundanity and strife.
As a result, it really feels like Rebuilder have found their voice and hit a groove that feels comfortable. Anthemic without being asinine, ‘Sounds From The Massachusetts Turnpike’ is instead a mini-blockbuster, punchy and passionate, but sensitive enough to hold hidden depths over its all-too-short runtime.
‘Sounds From The Massachusetts Turnpike’ EP by Rebuilder is released on 1st September on Panic State Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)