The Braces First World Problems

The Braces might not be the most experienced or finely tuned band in the world, but that's part of what makes them so appealing. The Southern California pop punkers play with a great deal of passion and plenty of nods to their SoCal roots, seemingly skipping the developments pop punk underwent during the last 15 years and picking up where NOFX and Lagwagon were at in the mid- to late '90s. First World Problems' six songs are youthful, slightly snotty and melodic, capturing the stage in any young band's career arc where there's nothing else they'd rather be doing and nothing hinting at real-world impediments that could stop the pursuit of living life from one gig to the next. That feeling is a big part of what makes punk rock so appealing in the first place and it's nice to see younger bands carrying it on. (Independent)