Simple sincerity. Sometimes, that’s what it’s all about. Not ten letter words and flowery language. Simple. Direct. Real. Greenville’s Quality Time execute that flawlessly with their new album.
Boston Pizzeria feels like the lo-fi soundtrack to a poignant, suburban coming-of-age film, each track detailing a scene rather than being “inspired by the film.” And just so you know, that’s my shit right there. Blending late 90’s guitar-driven emo with the bouncy melodic structure of modern pop-punk, Quality Time succeed where so many pop-pumk upstarts with saccharine anthems of “some day, I’m getting out of this town” fail.
The conversational opener “Jonah” throws you right into the thick of things, as guitarist/vocalist Pearson Parham sings his end of a call to the title’s namesake. This song demands the listener’s attention by employing infectious vocal melodies rather than relying solely on a repetitious chorus in the traditional sense. That’s not to say the album isn’t without some proper fun. “Jonathan, Come Back To The States (Party Song)” and “Ode To Adderall” are both bouncy sing-a-longs that wouldn’t feel out of place on the catalogue of turn-of-the-century-era Vagrant Records.
What glues this album together are the smaller moments crafted by the album’s shorter songs. Half of the record’s tracks clock in under two minutes, and these momentary fragments create an intimacy of personal storytelling succinctly captured in the vulnerability conveyed by Parham’s vocals. There’s a genuine sweetness to them, which enhances the expressed heartbreak and confusion detailed through the lyrics.
Boston Pizzeria successfully encapsulates the defining time of youth ending. The loss and the angst involved are felt as opposed to simply being talked about, and that makes all the difference. Quality Time’s mixture of classic emo and pop-punk don’t attempt to fix what isn’t broken, and focus instead on making an intensely satisfying album.
Listen for yourself below, and check them out at The Radio Room in Greenville, SC this Friday, February 23rd.