From the opening moments, “Love and Loathing” provides exactly what you need out of a pop-punk album: emotional and angst lyric content, up-tempo drums, quick songs and giving you the perfect excuse to roll down all your windows and yell along. With Confidence, gives a strong effort in distinguishing themselves in a sea of bands, unfortunately while in moments there is a spotlight on them that shines bright, but for most of this album you could tell me any pop-punk band from the last decade made this album and I would believe you, it doesn’t stand among the giants of the genre and it seems to ride the wave instead of creating it’s own.
Songs like “Pâquerette (Without Me)” give a change a pace to the record bringing everything down to a simpler level that showcases the band in a light that was unexpected. “Tails”, the album closer gives another peek into the bands creativity. The longest track allows the band to flesh out their sound, creating a more elaborate and complex arrangement. With the rest of the record sounding like just another record, the band allows glimpses of new sound with heavy influence.
Drawing strong influence from bands like blink-182, all time low and neck deep, the record bounces and gets your head bobbing instantly. Pop-punk staples like “Jaded” and “Better” are prime examples of their roots and influences. The album serves as a good collection of songs, giving nods to the bands that came before them. And while the album as a whole is fun and energetic, it doesn’t feel new. It doesn’t provide a stepping stone or reinventing the genre. Much like Warped Tour, pop-punk over the years has become monotonous. Having glimpses of breaking creative ground and breathing new air in songs, overall “Love and Loathing” is lost in the shuffle of many other bands in the genre and other bands pushing boundaries in sound and creative arrangements.
With Confidence is following a long line of giants in the pop-punk history books. The pop punk mentality has lessened over the years, giving the emo reassurance a strong boast and other more punk influence bands to take their place among the radio stations and attention. When you’re in a genre where everyone has proclaimed to hear everything before you, it’s very difficult to stand out and have your name linger on the tongues and in the minds of listeners. Although each song is excellently performed, again it feels lack luster. There’s not a lot to highlight from top to bottom, but there also isn’t a lot to tear down. It’s an adequate release from a still young band, hopefully if they decide to release more material they will take risks and allow a sound that is defined as “With Confidence” instead of “this sounds like….”.