Album Review: With Confidence - Love and Loathing
With a debut album under their belts from 2016, 2 EPs, and consistent touring with bands like 5 Seconds Of Summer, You Me At Six, Tonight Alive, and Don Broco, as well as performances on Vans Warped Tour 2018, Australian pop-punk band With Confidence show no signs of slowing down soon! Their sophomore album, Love and Loathing was announced before their start on Vans Warped Tour 2018, and as its release date gets ever closer, does it deliver, or will it fall into the sophomore slump?
First thing to note is that the musicianship on display within the album is amazing to listen to. Each instrument knows what mood to play and how to capture the emotions needed for each song. The drum work is fantastic, like in tracks “That Something”, “Sing To Me”, “Better” and “Icarus”, which has a great drum solo as well. The guitars and bass work well with each other, making the music either energetic and fun, like in “Jaded”, or sweet and soft like in “Spinning”. Only issue is that in some tracks, the music can lean into sounding a little generic, for example, in “That Something”, the guitars sound a little like they’re playing by numbers, with the solo not especially noteworthy.
Secondly, the lyrics bring an extra layer to each song that is intriguing and very fitting for the pop-punk style. The inspirational lyrics in “The Turnaround” are something any listener can take to, as well as “We’re temporary and you’re moving further out of sight” among other great lyrics in “Moving Boxes”. Tracks like “Jaded”, “Better” and “Bruise” give equally brilliant lyrics. However, the moments where the backing vocals sing words like “ba-ba-ba” in “Sing To Me”, and “whoo” in “Spinning” aren’t needed. Those songs would be a lot better without those backing vocals.
Finally, the vocals are great to hear, delivering the exact emotion required, and pulling out all the stops to make the tracks that better. For example, in “That Something”, the extra embellishments in the song’s 2nd verse are great to hear, really making the vocals unique, and adding that personal touch from frontman Jayden Seeley. Other tracks like “The Turnaround”, “Better”, “Bruise”, “Icarus” and “Dopamine” deliver exquisite melody lines that are catchy for new listeners and easy to sing along to.
Overall, this is a great album from With Confidence, and a stellar follow up to their previous album. Whilst the tracks have their problems, they have other elements that make up for those areas that don’t quite hit the mark. It is definitely worth the listen, and a band worth watching just to hear these tracks performed live.
Love and Loathing is out 10th August! Check out a few photos of the band from SoundControl May 2017, taken by our very own Charlotte Claber!