For a band who rose to popularity through something as contemporary as Youtube, Against The Current sure do sound old fashioned. After signing to Fueled By Ramen, and releasing a series of incredibly catchy singles, the band had managed to build considerable anticipation for In Our Bones, and luckily, they’re more than capable of delivering.
Said singles are easily the standouts on the album. Every track draws from a well of grungy pop-rock, but the singles feel extremely focussed and refined. Running With the Wild Things opens the album with a hit of adrenaline, its energetic drumbeat and churning guitars working to phenomenal effect. In particular, the downbeat drop into each chorus has an incredibly potent energy to it. In addition, the band demonstrates their willingness to pull back in the final pre-chorus, which consists of only percussion and vocals.
Those vocals, from lead singer Chrissy Costanza are exceptional. Her performance on Running With the Wild Things certainly has an element of histrionics to it, but she sings with such passion and fire that she even manages to make the song’s somewhat thin anti-authoritarian message – “we got too big for the cage that you locked us up in” – sound convincing. Elsewhere, she masters the pop hook on the Naked and Famous-esque Forget Me Now. Her melody could exist in a Katy Perry song, and she delivers it with total conviction. Her performance is equally strong on Young & Relentless, a track largely comprised of “carpe diem” cliches, but her earnestness allows the track to come across totally straight.
The album’s weakest moments tend to come when the band tries to slow down the pace a little. Chasing Ghosts swaps out the punky energy of the rest of the album for sombre balladry, and whilst the chorus is as effortlessly catchy as the rest of the album, the slower pace draws attention to the inconsistent lyrics. Sometimes Costanza creates some vivid imagery – “TV light, two bodies intertwined” – but more often than not she relies on cheesy sentimentality – “gave you my heart and soul”. However, in spite of one weak track, and the mediocre lyricism, In Our Bones is an incredibly fun collection of noisy anthems, and exudes a youthful energy rarely found in music these days.