April 23rd marks the release date of Ages, the debut album from Chicago’s Three Cent Cinema. Blossoming from the strength of the current Chicago Pop Punk scene, along with acts such as Real Friends and Knuckle Puck, Three Cent Cinema make their mark and provide a solid effort with their self-released debut, Ages.
Taking heavy influence from current Pop Punk/Emo bands such as Citizen, Crucial Dudes, and The Story So Far, the follow up to This Is What I Needed provides just less than 25 minutes of fast, heartfelt, and emotional Pop Punk. Although severely lacking originality, this record contains some great tunes and will surely please those who are into the previously mentioned bands.
The first single, Cherry Bombs, begins Ages with a bang and is probably the strongest song on the release. This track is a blueprint for what to expect from the rest of the album, as the remaining songs all kind of blend together into what seems like one song. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and may excite fans as TCC shows they have found consistency in their sound, but the constant repetition may bore some listeners.
A lack in production quality is immediately noticed on Ages, but many (like myself) appreciate this raw, homegrown sound and feel it adds to the record a great deal. You can tell the band actually played their instruments as opposed to the note-by-note recording methods that are so prominently used in today’s music scene. This notion of the natural pushes and adds to the power of tunes such as Jughead, Fairbanks, and Still Life, which will surely be fan favourites on Ages.
The musicianship on this album is somewhat disappointing with rudimentary chord progressions and minimal leads, but who cares, it's Pop Punk, right? Another lacking characteristic on this album is the vocals. Not that he is a bad singer; the vocalist just doesn’t have much of a range and hits many of the same notes throughout the album creating a monotone feel. However guest vocals on Cannonball and Jock Jams spice things up and add a little flavour.
All in all Ages is a good Pop Punk record and definitely a step up from Three Cent Cinema’s previous release, however the lack of originality may cause this album to get lost in the midst of many similar sounding bands out there. At the same time, Three Cent Cinema leaves room for improvement and with their DIY ethic; definitely have the potential to garner success. Pick up Ages and look out for these dudes on the road.
Written by Andrew Eichinger