Published Aug 22, 2014Pop punk is a difficult genre in which to evolve; simply put, once the spring of the pogo starts rusting, the crowd starts dispersing. Gob's Tom Thacker witnessed this firsthand when his other project, a little band called Sum 41, took risks and the resultant album performed poorer sales-wise than past efforts.
Fortunately, Thacker didn't let that deter him from exploring with the band that initially launched him onto the (inter)national music scene. Where 2007's Muertos Vivos found them exploring a heavier sound, their first new music in seven years is more downtrodden. Apt. 13 sounds like Alkaline Trio, albeit a few shades of red brighter than the Crimson crew.
Likening it to another Gob release would be a disservice, but for the sake of comparison, think The World According to Gob if the zombies from the "I Hear You Calling" video won more than just soccer. However, it's unlikely the undead could play piano with the dexterity shown in "Same as it Ever Was" or write a hook as catchy as "Radio Hell" and "Cold."
Unfortunately, the energy of the most upbeat song, "Walking Alone," is quickly put to rest by "New York," which could've been performed by a hip church band, and "Terpsichore," whose refrain of "you don't want me to be in a band" sounds juvenile. The return to form for the album's closing trio does a good job at summing up its dark yet catchy sound. Apt. 13 is definitely worth a visit — or even a prolonged stay. (New Damage)