Review || The Bombpops - "Death In Venice Beach"

The Bombpops released their sophomore LP sarcastically titled "Death In Venice Beach" on a Friday, March the 13th of 2020 through Fat Wreck Chords.

Let’s be honest; if you’re into SoCal punk rock in the year 2020 and someone beckons you to listen to a record that’s co-produced by none other than Fat Mike of Nofx, Yotam Ben Horin of Useless I.D. and Chris Fogal of The Gamits, chances are you’re going to love it and those odds are looking pretty good. Of course, that is the case if you haven’t heard of a band called The Bombpops; if you have, you know all about the double female fronted quartet from California taking pop punk rock stages by storm during the past 3-4 years and you are eagerly expecting their newest record to somehow top what was already a job really well done with 2017’s debut LP “Fear of Missing Out”.
On a personal level, The Bombpops hit my radar in 2015, if I remember correctly; a friend of mine was seeing them play live for his first time somewhere in Europe, saying “they’re someone you’ll like” and it only took listening to a few songs to get me on board. See, I’m a huge fan of anything that sounds remotely close to the true pop punk sound of the Ramones and all the now classic bands of the Asian Man Records roster, as well as -of course- every single band on Lookout! Records. Top that with a modern sounding record and I’m sold. 

Essentially, The Bombpops deliver a simple yet carefully constructed array of pop punk songs with more than a few punk rock touches of speed and even some aggressiveness, basing almost everything on the beautiful vocal identities and some super catchy harmonies by Jen Razavi and Poli Van Dam. I was excited to listen to "Death In Venice Beach" and was absolutely not disappointed one little bit. The record is somehow “bigger” than any previous work from a production standpoint, isn’t too long or too short and hosts a number of instant classics like "Double Arrows Down", "Notre Dame", "13 Stories Down" and my personal top three "Dearly Departed", "Blood Pact" and "Radio Silence". Actually, let’s go a step further; "Death in Venice Beach" is a perfect balance between what should make a pop punk record sound uplifting and “happy” but also a bit gloomy from a lyrical point of view, as well as a chord progressional sequence. Vocal harmonies are meant to be pleasing as hell but both singers delve into some deeply personal matters in sort of a literature - fictional kind of way, which makes things extra interesting. 

Even in what some would consider a relatively framed genre musically, I find "Death in Venice Beach" surprisingly diversified in its details and I’m actually almost not skipping a single song on this record. THAT is a clear cut lesson of how you make an amazing pop-punk musical body of work.    

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