ALBUM REVIEW: Pop punk by any other name sounds just as sweet

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First Posted: 9/16/2013

Whether you know them better as Terror on the Screen or the moniker they’ve more recently adopted, Young at Heart, fact is the Scranton-based pop punkers are among the most promising, polished acts in NEPA. With that in mind, it’s been more than a little distressing that, in the last four years, the band has hardly uttered a peep.

Its first release since 2009’s “This Times for Real,” the five-track EP “Young at Heart” is a return to form that sees the five-piece sizzling with renewed energy. The name change, then, represents something of a rebirth – if not of style, then of intensity.

It’s like the members of Young at Heart had a lot of music bottled up in their bodies in those four years of silence, and it all comes galloping out of the speakers with a fresh feeling of urgency. From the aggressive, brooding buzz of “Haymaker” and “Make It Count” to the bruised, confrontational finger-pointing of “A Little Too Late” and “The Prowl” to the dynamic, standout melodrama of “If Daryl Dies We Riot,” the band’s sound is as passionate as its heartbroken lyrics.

With blood flowing in the same vein as pop punk giants New Found Glory and Pennsylvania’s own The Wonder Years, Young at Heart isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been done before. But it is doing it about as deftly as it can be done and with a sincerity that is undeniable.

If this “Heart” can keep that blood pumping, in time, one can easily envision the band following in the footsteps of The Menzingers, Tigers Jaws (R.I.P.), or Captain, We’re Sinking to become one of NEPA’s flagship acts. With their emotive lyricism and catchy-as-a-cold hooks, the only thing holding them back is themselves. Here’s hoping it’s not another four years before we hear more from these guys.

Young at Heart ‘Young at Heart’ Rating: W W W V

-Bill Thomas, Weekender Correspondent