Pop punk music often gets a bad name; while it is fair to say that it often lacks the authenticity of mohawked anarchistic screamers, with pop punk there is a different goal… celebrating the enjoyment of life. On Eve, Bridges and Powerlines do just this, invoking images of summer, beaches, and good times. What makes this album stand out is the integrity and intelligence they maintain while celebrating.
Eve is the first album by the New York-based quartet, after releasing two quiet but critically well received EPs. After putting in several appearances at SXSW and CMJ over the last few years, the band spent three months creating Eve, creating the record ‘they wanted to make their whole lives’.
The time spent perfecting their album has paid off. Rather than sounding like a debut album, the production is slick, all the sounds merge beautifully. The summery party sound is delicately balanced by the maturity that shines throughout the album. Bridges and Powerlines cite Guided by Voices and the Elephant 6 roster as key influences; however, led by the piano, there is a real cabaret sound, taking the joy of Panic at the Disco, while removing the obnoxious brattiness.
Bridges and Powerlines know how to write radio friendly hits. Throughout these 11 songs, many tracks could easily fit as singles; over the last five years, the band has mastered the ability to create brilliant hooks. The whole album passes very quickly, many songs wanting you to sing along, the contagious tracks quickly getting stuck in your head.
Throughout the album, the tempo of tracks varies from fast punky punches to mellow ballads. This difference between the songs at times ruins the work that has previously done, creating a slight inconsistency; however, soon all is again realigned and the album continues along its upbeat way.
The opening track, “The First Equation”, starts with slow guitars before the rest of the band joins in, increasing the intensity and transporting you to a joyous circus. As seen throughout the album, the vocal structure is striking – the vocalists’ rhythm really controls the flow of the track – luckily, this is pulled off effortlessly.
Later on “June”, a faster poppier single with added meat, the track reaches its peak when three keyboards join each other, creating a fun yet authentic sound – think Blink 182 with keyboards and art degrees. “Before The Cave In” turns everything around, much slower, the three skilled vocalists proving they have a career in theatre if their band doesn’t work out.
Overall, the album sticks with you throughout its 40 minutes. While pop music is designed to remain in your mind, the combination of fun and intelligence is often elusive. On Eve, Bridges and Powerlines have created an upbeat yet powerful album, and despite a few wavering moments, overall Eve is a great album, showing a brilliant combination of youthful enthusiasm with the maturity to hold it all together.
Eve was released through Stunning Models on Display on 1st Feb 2011 for digital download on Amazon and other usual music sources.