PARTYBABY’s website assures fans that signing up for their email list won’t be for spam, just for perks and merchandise. In their words, “no bullsh*t from us. Promise.” That’s not just their website attitude — it’s also the attitude at the core of their upcoming album, The Golden Age of Bullsh*t, which will hit shelves Friday.
The L.A. punk duo consists of Jamie Reed and Noah Gersh (formerly of Portugal. The Man) and their charm extends beyond their music and into their hilarious and adventurous personas. The band takes themes of cynicism and heartbreak and disguises it as enthusiasm and lust for life. With skater rock influences, the band perfectly encapsulates a more adult version of skate culture characteristic angst and troublemaking.
Each song feels like a moment in time rather than a recording, almost as if Reed was the star of My So-Called Life, using his songs as the voiceover narrations showcasing rawness, honesty and immediacy. One of the three singles released ahead of the album, “Your Old Man,” is perhaps the best example of this. The song features Reed doing pop-punk-centered crooning as he asks no one in particular, “Do you ever talk to your old man / Does he understand, what we do, on the weekend?” A familiar feeling of a teen’s longing and listlessness comes to mind as you can’t help but to sing along to the catchy song. Where many artists of all medias romanticize the troublemaking skaters, PARTYBABY offers a fresh and new look at the reality of that culture and mindset.
Another of their singles, “I Don’t Wanna Wait,” finds the pair hitting the more distinctive styles of their pop-punk/rock genre. It starts with a scream and quickly finds a beat in split second breaks and fast-paced notes. This single is the epitome of the bands time-traveling music. From early 2000s indie, late ’90s pop punk, ’60s crescendos and more, PARTYBABY knows how to take the best from those that came before and still make it their own.
For the last single, “Everything’s All Right,” the band hones in on its skate and surf punk vibes. The song plays with something to prove and it definitely proves it. But it goes beyond what people are shown over and over again with these genres. PARTYBABY is nuanced punk. It’s a throwback to the age of Jackass and Tony Hawk that still pushes forward into new territories.
The band’s imagery of a single dollar sign is fitting in how little it actually defines them. The emotion, strength and openness prevalent in the album is driven by anything but money. Even when the music hovers over pessimistic or negative topics, PARTYBABY still lines every gray cloud with a desire to excite people. And that’s exactly what they do in The Golden Age of Bullshit. They excite the listener until a primal hunger to devour and submit to all the music the band has to offer.
The beauty of PARTYBABY is that every song has its own voice and personality while still maintaining the band’s quintessential sound. THe band knows what its doing and it has the talent to back it up. Its stage and social media presence draws fans in. But at the end of the day, it goes beyond the checklist of what is good music. PARTYBABY is real. It’s authentic. It’s raw. It’s sincere. Most importantly, it cares. For those whose young adulthood was filled with troublemaking, running from cops and making bad decisions for the memories, PARTYBABY is like looking into a mirror. For those more sheltered, PARTYBABY is a fresh outlook on a different lifestyle with insight into the surprising amount of ways anyone can relate to it.
The album is set for release on Friday. The band recently finished supporting Swmrs and Wavves on their respective summer tours.