The year is young, and it may be true that I can be fairly given over to hyperbole even under the most sober of circumstances, but after twice in a short span acknowledging that I already have two (very) early Song of the Year frontrunners, and declaiming the ongoing majesty of the provider of one of those favorites, I find that something I stuck in the back pocket to review later is, uh, not just on the same trajectory as That Very Same Thing but also doing it in a really similar circumstance?
So yeah, what I’m referring to is POPPiNG EMO and their latest, which is probably new to none of you at this point but I don’t care. This is a song worth talking about:
Not everything lines up perfectly, of course, but any other sucker for a proper punk anthem (again returning to points made just the other day) is no doubt just as moved by the song as I am. And to repeat a theme: Idol and anthemic versions of punk and punk-adjacent sounds are natural partners; to combine them well in a way that complements both the voices and the instrumentation is to hit right at the very center of your brain’s pleasure/reward centers. The members have proven that they can deliver; the SCRAMBLES contribution is a tune that can easily draw us back 7-8 years to the heyday of a certain pioneer of this sound that starts with B and ends with iS. The result is that POPPiNG EMO is clearly going to be a big part of the our conversation about the best things in idol for the year, and good for them!
At this point, I should probably stop expressing any kind of surprise about POPPiNG EMO having this rapidly growing and significantly awesome body of work. It feels rude! Maybe it’s the name (maybe!), it just took me a surprisingly long time to first recognize and then fully accept that this is a legitimately really good group, and what I at first thought was one of those we-paid-you-to-do-a-thing-and-now-your-credit-is-in-our-metadata-so-the-association-will-be-milked-for-all-it’s-worth-forever things is actually a much deeper, more direct relationship with SCRAMBLES. Put the things together and you have a group that maybe a few many of us have slept on for too long.