There’s something about pop-punk and the summertime that goes hand-in-hand. In that respect, Decent Criminal’s Bliss poppy yet somber vibe is like a light fog creeping over a beach upon a chill wind, sending beachgoers to the warmth of car heaters. Featuring eleven songs of power-pop reminiscent of Wavves and Weezer with a more punk rock sensibility, Bliss is moodier than many of the band’s contemporaries, and adds impressive emotional depth to the clanging of their power chords.
Owing to 90s rock as much as current punk acts, Decent Criminal lay on the distortion thick between quieter and more contemplative moments. “Nowhere” kicks the album off with Weezer-like harmonizing guitar leads and a solid floor-tom beat, followed by “Creep”, cranking up the energy and hitting the occasional dissonant note to keep the vibe off-kilter.
Slower tempo songs such as “Bleached” and “Teeth” switch up the vibe and nod to a brand of alternative rock that flourished twenty years ago. A welcome shot of adrenaline is supplied by the track “Loner”, the punkest song on the record.
“Here” is another mid-tempo song which sounds particularly influenced heavily by Green Day’s Nimrod. The final track on the album, “Alone”, scales back the energy to deliver a dreamy and jangly take on 50s slow-dance rock, peppered with creepy notes that keep things on brand for Decent Criminal.
Bliss is Decent Criminal at their most introspective. The result is a memorable collection of power-pop songs that capture a lightly cloudy mood, just in time for summer.