Enter the fellas from Laramie, WY in Not My Weekend.
Led by frontman Patrick Gilchrist, Not My Weekend is the epitome of a good time. They are a group of truly talented musicians (consisting of Gilchrist on guitar/vocals, Nick Hudson on guitar, Noah Hammontree on drums, and Ed Ma on bass) that take their music career seriously, but they don't take themselves too seriously. On their first full-length record, Honeymoon, you can feel the fun they had writing and recording. It's a breath of fresh air in a time where we need all we can get.
The record kicks off with Gilchrist's voice distorted like an old recording, singing the chorus to 'Hollywood Hills' before punchy, palm-muted guitars kick in and you know you're in for a pop punk journey. The song culminates in a bridge of familiar gang vocals that will certainly get you bobbing your head.
The two singles from the record, 'El Camino' and 'Sip,' are back-to-back on the album, but couldn't be any more different. On 'El Camino' - probably the most fun song on the record - the band somehow makes pop punk sexy with Gilchrist singing on the pre-chorus "I want the headlights low and the mood real calm/The engine's off but the heat is on" in a sultry voice. The horn honk in the gang vocals on this track is also a nice touch. 'Sip' takes a more traditional radio route for a single with catchy melodies and classic song structure, but that's not to discount it - it's well-written, feels like a hit, and is arguably my favorite song on the record.
Lyrically, Honeymoon focuses on young love, everything from DM hookups ('Come Over') to my interpretation of the conflicting feelings of a long-term relationship ('Uwu'). Many pop punk albums have the same theme, but Not My Weekend keeps it interesting with clever and intelligent writing, including references to Scooby-Doo and The Wire ('Privacy') and a song made up of awful pickup lines ('Say You're Mine').
But as much as this is a pop punk record, I think there's something for everyone here and I continue to hear new intricacies on each listen. The vocal stylings in the verses of 'Honeymoon' would not be out of place on a Leon Bridges record, parts of 'El Camino' could be flawlessly dumped into songs from the early 60s, 'Uwu' channels hellogoodbye's oddball track 'Touchdown Turnaround,' 'You and Me' was probably a Ben Folds song in a past life. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the a cappella part at the beginning of 'Famous' started making the rounds in the barbershop quartet crowd.
This is not something that I come across in the scene very often with many pop punk bands trying to catch fire by mimicking All Time Low. Not My Weekend has masterfully taken influences from numerous genres, thrown them in a blender, and created an incredibly fun, cohesive record that I'll be spinning for a long time to come.