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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Pop punk makes an explosive comeback in album

Hyperpunk is Qbomb’s first official album. The band is made up of Los Angeles-based artists and animators rocking out. Photo Courtesy of Qbomb
Hyperpunk is Qbomb’s first official album. The band is made up of Los Angeles-based artists and animators rocking out.
Photo Courtesy of Qbomb

ALEX HOBEN
editor-in-chief
alexandra.hoben@my.tccd.edu

A group of Los Angeles punk musicians are shredding their way through an apocalyptic soundtrack with this debut album.

The band Qbomb started in 2016, and on Oct. 30 they released “Hyperpunk,” their official first album. It includes 12 songs of crunched out, punked out, sci-fi techno melodies, shredding guitars and vocals. These songs are reminiscent of early 2010s punk and mosh pits, but with the sweetness of synths and melodic harmonies.

The album has a definite flow and cohesion to it. Each of these songs has consistent pushing of not only the melodies harmonizing but also the vocalists’ abilities while still sounding like they all belong together. The only main experimentation in this album isn’t through trying new methods to make music, but instead the music genre itself. Because to be honest, who really thinks of pop punk as a popular music genre anymore?

Pop punk music has been dying out as of late, but this new band coming along revitalizes it in a crazily good way. “Poison Pop” reaches into your chest and pulls out that defiance against the system in you while you chant with the chorus. “Insania” tells the relatable story of self-doubt and self-hatred when a project isn’t going in the way it should and gives you a reason to scream out insane for cathartic release.

This album is quintessential punk in its message, and their delivery of these messages was a new and fresher version of the qualities usually associated with the genre. Where there would’ve been a guitar riff, there’s now an added keytar offset with a key change that’ll blow your mind like in “Insania.”

This album has one of the strongest introductions and sequences that I have seen in a while. The first six tracks all seem to get better with each one that passes. It starts with a song setting up the exposition and tone of the whole album through an announcing format with “Buzzkiller” and just keeps building from there.

The switch from the desperate “Everything is Fine” to the angry “Insania” is just beautiful. The vocal acrobatics in both “Soften the Grave” and “Build a Giant Robot out of Trash” are inspiring, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget the lyrics “Reduce! Recycle! Revenge!”

The lyrics and stories behind this album are well-thought out and fun, even if their message is incredibly dour. Due to the music being so high energy and upbeat to stay with the punk and metal aspects of it, there’s no time to feel the repercussions of all the anger in the lyrics. Only the excitement and adrenaline that the guitars and drums push out of you.

While the quality is pretty consistent throughout the tracks, there is a bit of a dip in the middle third in the songs in both energy and harmony. “1,000,000 A.D.,” while it added story and world-building to the wasteland this album is taking place in, it was a bit clunky to listen to.

The two different dialogues within the robot were very obvious, but got repetitive after a while. The sudden slow down of the whole song takes the listener out of the rhythm and momentum you just built up with the past six songs building up.

Though there is a definite slow down in the momentum, the album still ends strongly with the last two songs. “Crackershock” has some of the best deep bass singing in the album and is able to use the voices of the three vocalists evenly and meld them with the instruments really well. In the songs before you could tell who was the singer, but in this they all blend so well together it’s hard to separate them.

Where the album started with a call of defiance, it ends with an exclamation of having enough. “Overkiller” is one of the grungier and discordant songs on the album and a strong note to end on. The way the song has run on lyrics and simple but hard hitting chords makes you want to hear what happens next but instead it ends abruptly with the sound of pulling out a plug, as if to say “the album’s done now, go home.”

“Hyperpunk” is an incredibly strong opening album for Qbomb, and their prowess in music shines through with pretty much every song. Here’s hoping this band blows up the charts and the punk scene so there’s a new age of hard-hitting, fun, experimental grunge with the message of raging against the world.

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