Playing in the Background
Game On = Bouncing Souls + Josie & the Pussycats + Rise Against
Listening to Game On takes me back to the days before teenage girls stole the words ‘punk rock’ to describe Yellowcard and the All-American Rejects. Playing in the Background is full of songs that, with a bit of work, could sound just like any track on a Fat Music compilation 10 years ago––specifically “Untitled 7” and “Skank If You Got ‘em.” The album is about hanging out, getting into trouble, relationships, and it offers a surprising lack of emo cliches and generic honesty. Todd Fivas has a knack for a catchy melody and chant-able phrases, especially on “Horcruxes and Hollows” (which, to my dismay, was stuck in my head for a day), but his efforts to sound like Greg Attonito and Tim McIlrath are distracting. Fivas should search for his own voice, since there might be something there. Game On is sort of an unintentional cover band––they offer nothing new.