by Hugo Reyes (@hvreyes5)
It’s only been a little over a year since New Hampshire pop punk band Notches released their second LP, Almost Ruined Everything, on Salinas Records. It saw the band at its poppiest, pairing down and doing away with the overlong songs like “High Speed Crimes” on their debut LP. Songs were more compact and oozed melodies that demand you replay it constantly, like the album closer “Shades Of You”.
The first single off the upcoming record, New Kind of Love (available via Salinas and Dead Broke), melds the new and old material. It still retains that poppier sound they honed in on with the last record, while bringing in some of the rawer distortion-laden songs of High Speed Crimes. “Room Upstairs” starts in classic Notches fashion, with a rhythmic pitched high riff, with the quick succession of guitar and bass, setting up Ezra Cohen’s vocals. The guitar is allowed to revel in its sustain, as the song breaks into what could be a natural end. Instead, it opts for an extended bridge/outro, interweaving an acoustic guitar riff to a jammed out outro that feels natural, like the kind of decision that could only come from jamming in a practice space.