By: Nick Villers
Release Date: June 1, 2022
FFO: 90s/Early 2000s Pop Punk, The Story So Far, Blink-182
It's summer 2001. You painstakingly unwrap the cellophane and stickers from your newly purchased CD of Blink-182's 'Take Off Your Pants and Jacket'. You pop it into your Aiwa boombox and turn the volume dial up to the stratosphere. DeLonge, Hoppus, and Barker blast the "Anthem Pt. 2" into your ear drums. Your eyes widen. You just found your anthem (no pun intended) for the summer and unlocked the door to the pop punk universe. Now wake up. It's been 21 years to the date of TOYPAJ and you click on "Lock It Up" by No Pressure on your Spotify playlist. Your eyes widen. You just found your anthem for the summer with memories rushing back to the wave of 90s/early 2000s pop punk that defined your adolescence, spiky hair, and wrist bands all those years earlier. Welcome No Pressure's self-titled debut.
No Pressure is the powerhouse side project comprised of Parker Cannon on vocals (The Story So Far), Pat Kennedy on guitar (Light Years), and Harry Corrigan on drums (Regulate). After releasing their first EP in 2020 and follow up singles "Can't Forget" and "Bed of Nails" in 2021, the trio is back with their first LP capturing lightning in a bottle in just under 23 minutes.
No Pressure is defined by the iconic 90s/early 2000s skate pop punk sound perfected by pioneers Blink-182 and Sum 41, but brought into the modern day. They waste no time with fast d-beats, crunching guitar riffs, and Parker's signature vocal style on the introduction "Lock it Up". Parker's vocals are immediately familiar to fans of The Story So Far as his melodies and hooks are reminiscent of their earlier works 'Under Soil and Dirt' and 'What You Don't See'. Don't be fooled. Although you're reminded of Parker's TSSF influence, No Pressure provides a fresh take on the genre lacing elements of 90s hardcore giving the tracks the right amount of edge. "Too Far", "Same Thing", and "Sour" throw their elbows out with hardcore two-step riffs your mosh pit heart will love.
On the pop punk side of the coin Blink-182's influence is heavily heard throughout and "Both Sides" is the greatest example of this. The opening bass lick, Pat's upbeat guitar riff, Harry's relentless drumming, and Parker yelling "ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR" sounds like an opening track from TOYPAJ and 'Enema of the State'. Parker's vocal pattern vibes alongside any classic Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge track. Songs like "Hand in Hand" and "Big Man" will make you want to buff out the scratches on your 'Dude Ranch' CD.
The LP doesn't slow up for one second and every track holds its own. No Pressure balance their edge with strong songwriting, catchy melodies, and a touch of polish. The quality of this record is reflected by the veteran experience level this trio already has in the punk/hardcore scene.
Just as 21 years ago at this time you were writing "Have a kick a$$ summer!" in school acquaintances yearbooks listening to Blink-182 on your no-skip Sony Discman, No Pressure's - No Pressure (LP) brings the same kick a$$ pop punk feels to 2022, minus the yearbooks. No Pressure is an all-out windows down 23 minute anthem that will give you all of the nostalgic pop punk you crave, The Story So Far fix you desire, and be the anthem of the summer we all need.