Pop Evil are back with their fifth studio album following Up, the self-titled Pop Evil, coming out February 16th. This album maintains the band’s goal to live up to their name but definitely took the Michigan group’s sound in a new direction.
Pop Evil starts with the single that I know you’ve heard more than once by now, the powerfully motivating “Waking Lions.” I love the pumped feeling that comes with the chorus, “I want to stand up, 100 feet tall, ’cause fear will never lead my way.” This might also be the only track on the album that sounds like the Pop Evil we’re used to. From Leigh’s (vocalist) familiar vocal patterns, to Nick’s and Dave’s (guitarists) quick and upbeat riffs, it’s a great way to move from Up to something new. It moves to the heavier sounding “Colors Bleed,” a track intended to call attention to the state that the world is in right now with lyrics such as “Institutions, Constitutions, freedom? Where’s the solution?” or “Fight the system, stop and listen, true colors, how can you miss them?” the song definitely seems to call for a revolution or change. As with a few other tracks, Leigh uses an accelerating chanting to bring an energy to the track that almost makes you want to fight the way things are today.
The next tracks are where the shift is really noticeable, as Pop Evil seems to take inspiration from some well known nu metal artists. “Ex Machina” and “Art Of War” both seem to borrow the industrial aspects of heavy distorted riffs and a rap style reminiscent of Korn or Rage Against The Machine. The tracks again draw attention to our current state. “Are we born to die this way…while we sacrifice the human race?“ It’s a pretty different sound out of Pop Evil, but they pull it off. “Be Legendary,” while maybe not the lyrical motivational speech “Waking Lions” is, still offers some push to be something bigger.
Let me be the first to voice my admiration for the entire album’s themes of motivation and change. I’m fond of all the lyrics that stand out in each song- “Are we divided? Are we united?” “Clip the wings that fall from grace,” and “Rewind, start again,” along with the others I’ve already mentioned- it’s inspiring at the absolute least.
I’m going to end with the final track, my favorite from the album- “Rewind.” This one, resonates with me personally, and I know many other people can be in the same boat. It’s significantly lighter than the rest of the album, but it’s the perfect track for when something’s gone a bit off track in your life, “all my steps coming down seem to trip me up,” but we can “rewind, start again.”
Overall, Pop Evil is a large shift from the previous albums. But I do enjoy listening to it, and highly recommend it to anyone needing a little boost, feeling rebellious, or those that want to picture a revolution soon. Definitely give it a listen!
Don’t forget to like Pop Evil! (If you somehow haven’t already)