Album Review: Come Clean – 134

4/5

Since the release of 2018’s Won’t Wait, Come Clean have been quietly simmering in the East Coast pop-punk scene. After being picked up for a brief spell on Standby Records, for 2018 breakout From Down The Street, the North Carolina natives have been diligently crafting their debut full-length, self-released 134.

It’s immediately evident that 134 is going to be a refreshingly “what you see is what you get” record. Opener “Slow on The Exhale” and fan-favorite single “Art Class” both deliver anthemic and moreish pop-punk, in the vein of early The Wonder Years.

“Fortunate” is a high-energy affair that delivers Come Clean’s trademark blend of pace and poise. Gritty vocals dance around enticing guitar lines to impressive effect. The track strikes as somewhat of an anomaly in pop-punk—an appreciative, glass half-full look at growing up.

Title track and LP highlight “And The Walls Became The World All Around” are quintessential Come Clean. Urgency and melody stride hand-in-hand on tunes as accessible as they are relatable.

Acoustic offering “Beautiful Blue” nails the brief of heart-warming, stripped back ballad, before “So Foolish” drags the collection back to the heavier, more visceral brand of pop-punk that Come Clean typically generate.

Closer “Overworking” is perhaps the most contemporary offering on the record and brings 134 full circle. The track evokes the all-too-common longing of independent bands: to be out of the day job and back playing music.

134 is deeply personal; tales of love, loss, opportunity and addiction adorn the ten tracks. With each listen, Come Clean pull you further into their world and there’s an unmistakable intimacy on the album. Whilst at times the tracks could benefit from a little more polish, this is smartly crafted, blue-collar pop-punk worth multiple spins.

Stay up to date with Come Clean here.

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