Album Review: The Great Awake ‘Reasons for Leaving’
Put on your khaki shorts, skate shoes, and order that pizza because Sydney pop-punks The Great Awake drop their fresh debut album ‘Reasons for Leaving’ this week! Turns out time travel is real after all with The Great Awake’s first full length offering taking listeners back to the Summer of 2002 (in a good way!). Raw garage power meets tuneful and catchy melodies in what can only be described as a half an hour non-stop rollercoaster ride of punk energy.
Starting off short, fast, and incredibly loud on Streets Ahead It’s clear that The Great Awake don’t have time to mess around. All guns are blazing from the onset and throughout with some impressive lead guitar shred-a-longs put in for good measure. Streets Ahead is a strong insight to what listeners are in for with ‘Reasons for Leaving’ (think Rise Against singing about something happy for once).
“Raw garage power meets tuneful and catchy melodies in what can only be described as a half an hour non-stop rollercoaster ride of punk energy.”
Eastbound keeps the volume at 11 and highlights The Great Awake’s ability to create simple but effective rhythms driven by an obviously experienced rhythm section. The catchy chorus sees the vocals shine with a fantastic controlled aggression that’s perfect match for this genre. With similar bands often being too Americanised, it’s always incredibly refreshing to hear an unapologetic Australian accent sung with heart and it creates uniqueness to The Great Awake’s sound.
Lead single Departure Lounge starts off surprisingly soft with another stellar lead guitar hook. However, this quiet intro is short lived as The Great Awake then head full throttle into another stand out chorus full of great sing along potential. Familiar pop-punk themes of seeing the world, leaving your home town, and being tied to a desk are all heard in the lyrics for a well-deserved hangover from the glory days of the genre.
Bitter Skin, Live Slow Die Eventually, and Happiness for Sale all help to keep the energy of ‘Reasons for Leaving’ on a high, but they don’t have the same replay value of the first few tracks. A change up in guitar/drum sounds or maybe some vocal dynamics would have been well received at this point. They’re by no means weak songs but after a strong start to ‘Reasons for Leaving’ listeners will longing for a change in pace and sound to remain interested.
“…this quiet intro is short lived as The Great Awake then head full throttle into another stand out chorus full of great sing along potential.”
Use Your Delusion II is a standout to the tail end of the album. With just a pinch of a more hardcore inspiration, this 2:40 banger provides that subtle difference that is lacking on some other songs on the album. The chorus vocals provides an opportunity for potential crowd involvement in what sounds like The Great Awakenings most “Live” friendly song.
It’s obvious The Great Awake are in no mood to apologise for their musical direction. While the constant and tireless pace might prove to be too intense for some listeners, there is no doubt that The Great Awake have the building blocks to a great cult following. Pop-punk is notorious for having a loyal and dedicated following and ‘Reasons for Leaving’ has all the necessary elements to attract the diehards. ‘Reasons for Leaving’ is a strong debut for The Great Awake and does what a debut should: Define the band’s sound as well as cement their well-deserved place in the Australian punk scene.
The Great Awake will be firing up mosh pit everywhere this March and April on tour around the county – We suggest you bring a sweatband and a water bottle.
The Great Awake National Tour Dates
FRI 4 MAR
Front Gallery, Canberra
SAT 5 MAR
SUN 6 MAR
SAT 12 MAR
The Exeter, Adelaide
SAT 19 MAR
Fat Louie’s, Brisbane
SAT 26 MAR
Valve Bar, Sydney
FRI 1 APRIL
Bar 303, Melbourne
SAT 2 APRIL
Cherry Bar, Melbourne
FRI 8 APRIL
Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
SAT 9 APRIL
Fresh Cafe, Launceston