Last month, Silverstein embarked on a tour with a remarkable lineup; including Being as an Ocean and Emarosa, along with up-and-coming artists Coldrain from Japan and Canadian pop-punk band Rarity. Prior to this tour, I’ve never heard of Rarity, so when they announced a full length album, I took it upon myself to give them a further listen, as they did a great job opening for emo pioneers Silverstein. On April 15, Rarity’s full length I Couldn’t Be Weaker finally dropped from Rise Records
Although they are labeled as “pop-punk”, I’d like to think that they have a heavier sound (think Movements, Brigades). Vocalist Loeden Learn has mentioned that this album has shied away from the initial pop-punk label, and into the more hardcore genre. But it works in their favor, as their sound can draw in a larger fanbase.
The album opens with “Hollow”, which builds up the momentum for the rest of the tracks, and they consist of heavy guitar driven chords.
Derek Discanio of State Champs also lends his vocals on the track “Absent”, and although State Champs and Rarity sound completely different side-by-side, this collaboration go hand-in-hand. In this case, opposites attract and the output is not overlooked.
Another track, “Realm”, begins sounding like what you’d expect out of a pop-punk band, but it works as a great foil to offset the more hardcore songs off the album. Lyrically on paper, it appears run of the mill, but with the vocals and instrumentals, it’s a pleasant surprise.
Ultimately, I Couldn’t Be Weaker delivers an interesting package. When I think pop-punk, I associate the genre with a typical pop-punk tenor. However, in this case, we have the same traditional pop-punk sound, but the vocal style offsets it perfectly. Each track has it’s own unique sound, whereas some sound like the pop-punk we know and love, and some sound like the new wave style of today.
Learn’s vocal style, as well as the guitar tracking on this album breathes new life into the genre that old fans have been looking for, and that newer fans to the overall genre would enjoy.
As for a final thought, there is no doubt that Rarity is a talented band. Not only do they put on a great live performance, they can back it up with an equally great album release. It’s also refreshing to see a young band take on punk’s heavier roots in an aging pop-punk/post-hardcore scene.
For fans of a heavier more than traditional pop-punk sound, I Couldn’t Be Weaker is an album worth checking out. The album is now available through Rise Records on Spotify to stream, and is also available for purchase through iTunes and Apple Music.
- Orchid (feat. Joshua Hanusiak of A Sight for Sewn Eyes)
- Absent (feat. Derek DiScanio of State Champs)
Post by Kayla Rojas
What are your thoughts on I Couldn’t Be Weaker? Comment below.
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