This review originally appeared on LamplighterNJ.com in June 2013
If I were a less capable writer, I’d begin this review with some trite science terminology that tells you how Modern Chemistry concocted a seamless amalgam of pop punk and hard rock with their latest, We’ll Grow Out of This. Don’t worry; I won’t stoop to that level. However, I will tell you that this six-song EP displays a nearly matchless understanding of the delicate balance between aggression and restraint. On tracks like “Part One” and “Holla Atchya Boi,” two of the record’s standouts, escalating moments of loud tension dissipate into quiet releases, only to return to their blaring form thereafter. This is a microcosm of the album itself. While the record begins and ends with forceful rock tracks, it does pause for a gentle, acoustic intermission on “Part Two,” just before cranking the volume back up with “Holla Atchya Boi.” Even vocalist Joe Zorzi’s voice itself is a symbol of the group’s blend of screaming and suppression, as he approaches the softest and catchiest melodies with the same throat full of grit.
By method of comparison, We’ll Grow Out of This is equal parts Brand New and The Dangerous Summer, with a small portion of The Foo Fighters. Yet, rather than just tossing it all together into an alternative rock salad, the boys in Modern Chemistry combine the individual ingredients for a composite sound that improves on each of its parts. This record is The Foo Fighters without the now dated songwriting, The Dangerous Summer without the monotony, and Brand New without the intentional ignorance of high fidelity recording methods. It hits hard when you want it to, and it soothes softly when you need it to, all with the grace of a band poised for great success. Whether We’ll Grow Out of This actually has the shelf life to stick around, given that it draws influence from a wellspring of already aging artists, remains to be seen. But for here and now, Modern Chemistry has found the correct formula.