Pennsylvania pop-punks The Masquerade released their debut EP this summer and opened up their energetic rock account. Home Is Where You Make It is their first release and illustrates their infectious vibe and happy-go-lucky attitude. Their singles Set Your Mind To It and Best Day Of My Life have already received rave online reviews and the EP is just more of the same!
Currently going through a line-up change, they are still going through teething problems having only got together earlier this year. However, their music is a perfect fit alongside early Good Charlotte and New Found Glory. I have discovered that pop-punk is a bit of an acquired taste but as regular readers know, it is one of my favourite genres purely for its feel-good factor. This EP definitely has that in spoonfuls!
It begins with The Weekend, a young punchy track with slamming riffs and drums. Their American vocals lead the catchy melody, making it the ideal Friday night song. The title of the EP is repeated several times at the end of the song and it just hammers home the carefree nature of them and indeed, their fanbase. “Home is where you make it” suggests that the definition of home is wherever you feel happy, which is a wonderful idea to remember.
Moving onto Best Day Of My Life with clattering drums and fuzzy riffs. It has a bit more of an edge than The Weekend and is very similar to Good Charlotte’s The Young and the Hopeless album. Catchy melody keeps the feel-good factor up, as have the lyrics and it is a great party anthem. A ferocity occurs in the instrumental with its flickering drums and thumping electric riffs.
In the middle is Back Up Plan, which begins with another mechanical riff teamed with a smooth pop-punk vocal. Again, it’s got a melodic hook which means its a catchy song with a vocal that you can’t help singing along to. No doubt this is a real crowd pleaser during live sets and is sure to get everyone in the mood for a good time.
Lead single Set Your Mind To It has a positive, inspiring title and message. Fuzzy guitar ring through the strong drumming and a second of angst appears in the shouting backing vocal at the opening. So much passion and determination is in the vocal and the thundering, repetitive riff keeps up the motivation to power through. All in all, it has a smooth melodic rhythm but it’s pushing itself to new heights and out of their wholesome comfort zone.
Ending on quite possibly my favourite track, All My Life, it ends on a definite high. It’s about following your dreams to fame set to clashing drums and an earworm of a chorus. With big bright eyes, it’s an adorable hopeful track that has so much commercial potential. A melody like that and lyrics that are so relevant to almost every young person means it’s very accessible and powerful.
If you love pop-punk, then this is a definite must listen. The Masquerade are great at traditional American pop-punk but there aren’t any traces of anything else in their sound. They’re still young and could possibly change direction or introduce other styles in the future but they are purely an energetic, cheerful band. After a bit of a serious, grown-up music? You won’t find it here!