Brights Heartbreakers

It’s always refreshing when a band buck a current trend they could pretty easily latch onto. Ottawa’s Brights write powerful, catchy pop punk songs that would make them a shit-ton of coin if they opted to clean up all the mid-’90s emo influences in their sound. Instead, the band make an earnest leap into the heyday of a genre led by bands like the Get Up Kids and Hey Mercedes, adding some of the vitriol of Jimmy Eat World’s Static Prevails and the hooks of early Moneen. Ultimately, Heartbreakers will resonant with anyone who thinks that earnestness abandoned pop punk in 1999, as Brights bring back all the driving, anthemic catchiness that got sold out for tight jeans and haircuts when everyone turned 21. (Square Up)