In the world of pop-punk, some things are constants. 1) Regardless of your opinion about Ben, Screeching Weasel’s My Brains Hurts is one of the best albums of the genre. 2) Dr. Frank is wittier than you. 3) The Prozacs either just got done recording something or are in the process of it.
Ambivalence, the 5th proper album in their nearly two decade career, has the Massachusetts legends cranking out one rockin’ tune after another, and though 3 different bassists are on this installment, it all flows seamlessly as if it was recorded in one session versus the year it actually took.
The aptly titled “Rocking Out” starts the listen with incendiary drumming and Jay Prozac’s signature charged guitar and melodic vocals guiding the way, and this energy continues to the anthemic and hook filled “Outta My Face”, and the more subdued “Party’s Over”, which offers a chorus you won’t forget anytime soon.
Back half highlights include the bouncy and ultra tuneful “Wishing & Waiting”, the buzzing guitar work of “Come Out Swinging”, which might be one of their best tunes to date, and the darker spirited “Live Like It’s New”, which offers plenty of ‘woah oh ohs’ in the punchy setting.
A band that can hold their own against pop-punk luminaries like The Mr. T Experience or Pink Lincolns, but also fit in alongside newer bands like The Radio Buzzkills, Ambivalence brings longtime drummer Jimmy Craig back into the fold, and the chemistry alongside Jay Prozac’s strong song craft makes this one of the best not only in their massive catalog, but the pop-punk umbrella in general.