EP REVIEW: Lazy Queen - Growing Pains
Oslo-based band's revivalist pop-punk is a lot of fun
Renowned music critic, Anthony Fantano, in talking down Machine Gun Kelly’s latest album in his ’10 worst albums of 2022’ YouTube video said the current popular pop-punk artists had him pining for a revival of early-2000s efforts in the genre.
Listening to Growing Pains, it would appear that New York-formed and Oslo-based band, Lazy Queen, are giving Fantano what he wants.
Columbian-Norwegian frontman Henrik García Søberg delivers cleanly sung vocals similar to Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba and provides complementary rhythm guitar to Petter E Anderdal’s imaginative lead guitar and Jørgen Apeness’s crashing drums.
The trio produce a tight sound over the five tracks which veer from fast punk to emo rock and pop-punk in-between, with shades of Weezer, The Offspring and New Found Glory present.
‘243, New Moon’ kicks off Growing Pains with superb guitar from Anderdal in creating the main high-pitched hook which the song hangs off. Søberg is at their most-Skiba like in this track which is a great opener and understandable lead single.
The pace quickens in ‘Dumb MF’ – an ode to self-destruction which once again sees Anderdal and Søberg’s guitars bounce off one another to great effect. ‘I See You’ is the single being released simultaneously with the EP on Friday and details the experience of behavioural pattern forming. After two blistering tracks, this one dips into middle-of-the-road territory with its generic refrain ‘I don’t know why we keep falling for i-i-it’, despite some very cool layered vocal effects in the second verse.
‘4th Contact’ brings the quality back up again with its singalong chorus, memorable repetitive high-pitched guitar from Anderdal and interesting keys at the end of the track. ‘Option to Nothing’ sees Lazy Queen at their most viscerally punk with anguished, screamed vocals from Søberg over heavy guitar and drums.
Growing Pains has plenty going on to make you want to follow the next steps in Lazy Queen’s journey. The complementary musicianship comes together impressively and the songs, on the whole, impress. The EP points to a strong future for the band but, for now, their revivalist pop-punk is a lot of fun.
Growing Pains is out this Friday (14 April) via Icons Creating Evil Art