Here is a question for all of you curious cats out there: Who do you know with face tattoos that can sing well?
I don’t know the answer to this question. You might not either. This lingering inquiry may even haunt you for the rest of your life. Or, you could start a band to quiet the existential anxiety that not answering this question may fill you with. In which case, you could go out on tour with Boston’s 5ever. Their guitarist Tyler Dack, didn’t find an answer either when he asked this question- but who he did find was singer Sam Nazaretian (who doesn’t have any face tattoos, btw) of Cheem. Now, along with Mateo Garcia on guitar, Chance Wells on bass and Alex Pickert on drums, they comprise one of Boston’s latest, and very close to, greatest (or at least top 20) pop-punk bands.
Drawing on the aesthetic of the pre-9/11 2000s and the nasally but good-natured charm of acts like the 5 Seconds of Summer and Forever the Sickest Kids, 5ever aren’t just catchy; they’re god damn contagious! Don’t be alarmed if you begin experiencing such symptoms as: rhythmically tapping your foot, nonchalantly bobbing your head, a release in tension in your shoulders and lower back, and a broad, relaxed grin. Don’t consult your doctor! These are all just signs that you’re having a good time.
However, if you develop a rash while listening to fever’s debut EP Forever– then you might want to see someone about it. To be clear, you can’t blame your dermatological issues on the band. Maybe you should shower more often- or if you are showering, switch shampoos.
Beyond the imprint left on Forever by radio behemoths with great bangs, you’re also going to hear a lot of influence of less successful bands, who nonetheless, still had enviable locks. You can certainly discern the tautology of The Academy Is… in 5ever’s sound, and they get very high marks for hammering out expert hooks like those on the sugary slam of “Champagne” and the tightly swirling, mess blessing “Trashpit.”
5ever are more than homage and nostalgia, though, blending smooth harmonies and rushes of brash and bullish punk guitars, while making room for cushy interludes and mirror cracking outbursts on the wild ride “KACHING!,” they demonstrate a knack for natural songwriting that goes beyond mere imitation. Later the band even tests their skills at ironing together acoustic punk with hyper-pop on “H.A.G.S.” in what sounds like the auditory equivalent of a strawberry milkshake, marbled with layers of smooth german chocolate- a decadent treat that you nevertheless sip absent-mindedly at a disco night at the local roller rink.
If you are feeling sweaty and flush, but ready for more, then you know that Forever is working its magic on you. It’s ok if you need to hit play a couple more times on this album throughout the day after your first playthrough. Even if doing so feels like you’re a mouse in a Skinner box that’s developed a taste for rainbow-colored candy. There is no shame in liking something this sweet.
Stream and buy Forever below via Bandcamp: