Call me shallow, but I was not expecting My New Life to sound like they actually do – I’ve had their poster up on my wall for a few months, and I was expecting an indie-rock band. “Three Weeks” opens up “A Sad State of Affairs” and it compels individuals to listen through a very tight arrangement of music and a pop-punk sensibility that disappeared from the venue after Green Day and Unwritten Law. An early issue with the disc is the weak-sounding guitars fitting on a disc where the guitar and bass are so well showcased. The drumming sounds almost as if Steve is hitting a wet paper sack. Now, this is not to denigrate Steve’s playing but rather the mastering process. The multi-part harmony of “Hate to See You Go..” directly compliments the sizzling guitar solo and beyond-intricate bass line laid down by Brandon. “Let It Ride” furthers Tim’s unique slightly-nasal yet smooth delivery, while “You Can’t Have…”’s bass line is eerily reminiscent of Screeching Weasel’s “Hey Suburbia”. Agent M’s contribution of a second set of vocals for “Omelette” add a very Operation: Cliff Clavin dynamic to the track, and keeps the disc’s breakneck flow constant.
Solid pop-punk albums are hard to find nowadays. Besides The Matches’ “E. Von Dahl Killed The Locals”, “A Sad State of Affairs” is the only pop-punk album that has been well-written, instrumentally pleasing, and free of cliché. Continually incorporating indie-rock, Weezer and MxPx into their own distinct version of punk rock, My New Life plays a true road-trip type of punk rock, hard-hitting but upbeat. Their cover of “Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault” is an odd track on “A Sad State of Affairs” in that My New Life tries their hardest to assimilate the track into their own style of music, but the originality of Jawbreak can’t help but shine through. The acoustic “Dime Song” revisits the Ghost Mice / Operation: Cliff Clavin / Plan-It-X general sound, albeit with a little “Crack Ho” (The F-Ups) mixed in.
My New Life might not be “punk” enough for some people, but ignoring this band may be a folly of epic proportions. Their impressive brand of punk is something that hard to find currently, and practically everything is perfect on “A Sad State of Affairs”. Aside from the early problems of the drums, the tightly-written tracks all spin to an end before an individual can blink but are memorable enough that the listener can’t do anything but remember it.
Top Tracks : “You Wouldn’t Hit A Guy With Glasses, Would Ya, You Can’t Have An Omelette Without Breaking Some Eggs
Rating : 7.4/10
My New Life – A Sad State of Affairs / 2004 Tomato Head Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.mynewlife.net / http://ww.tomatoheadrecords.com / Reviewed 27 September 2004