Noise by Numbers Over Leavitt

Chicago, IL super-group Noise By Numbers' sophomore album, Over Leavitt, is catchy, minimalist pop punk with a semblance to post-punk. The four-piece (featuring members of Screeching Weasel, the Methadones and Light FM, among others) cite such influences as Hüsker Dü and Dinosaur Jr., which are tough to hear through a heavy sheen of pop punk, but repeating riffs and a slower tempo soften their sound, allowing for structural variation and layering. The album teeters between both styles without embracing either; Over Leavitt tends to be very formulaic in structure. Regardless, the album is rich with melodic elements and catchy pop punk riffs from beginning to end. Third track "Swarm of Flies" begins as an acoustic ballad with overlapping, steady drumbeats, eventually picking up with the addition of stronger percussion and guitar; it's a pattern noticeable in their material, but most prominently, and solidly, on this track. The minimalist pop punk of Noise By Numbers allows mostly for a focus on Dan Schafer's poignant vocals and a slower tempo with more textual layering more so than any pop punk bravado without sacrificing any catchy hooks or melody. (Jump Start)