Track #1 off of Forever The Sickest Kids, 2011
I know I’m extremely biased but nothing will ever change my mind about Forever The Sickest Kids being THE best neon pop punk band to ever exist. Or at the least, they’ve released some of the best music to come from that genre. Neon pop punk was a weird point in the late 2000s that quite honestly, you just had to live through to understand. Punk sounding guitars, pop hooks and lots of synthesizers should have been a combination of sounds that just didn’t make sense but FTSK not only made it sounds great, but they quickly and easily made it their own. Ther 2008 debut, Underdog Alma Mater, contains all hits and no skips, and is regarded as a pivotal moment of the times.
But with a debut this monumental, the sophomore slump is almost inevitable and unfortunately, I am afraid the group fell into this pit. Thier second released that came in 2011 was self titled and just didn’t contain the same magic their first record did. Although it charted a bit better, it didn’t receive the best reviews, with critics noting a lack of maturity and a sound that came off as cliche. Nonetheless, their opening track, “Keep On Bringing Me Down” stands among the few elite songs on the track listing and remains one of the finest tunes the band has ever put out. It’s pop punk perfection, both in tone and context, being centered around the one thing pop punk fans constantly complain about: how life isn’t fair. It’s energetic and dense with imagery, dismal but also some of the most fun the genre has to offer. Although it barley contains any aspects of their debut, it was the most ideal track to open up their next project: it showed how the band had grown with their sound and lyrics and the delivery couldn’t have been handled any better. Sometimes, the sophomore slump really isn’t so bad when there’s at least one really great song that comes out of it.