It looks like the old adage of ‘Ideas Vs Execution’ will factor quite significantly in my words on Bombs for Breakfast’s new single ‘Old Friend’, where the band’s obvious desire to carve something more intricate and ‘mathy’ out of their brand of pop-punk is perhaps limited by their approach. There are moments in this track where I find myself seeing an avenue for BFB to head down which is missed, and others where dead-end streets need reversing out of. Unfortunately, the opportunities for an interlacing of genres and ideas throughout the track seem to be just out of reach. That or the execution of these fusions doesn’t quite hit the mark or transition smoothly enough for me to really get behind it.
A comment on the production as well, and when I say this I totally appreciate that you shouldn’t be too critical of a DIY release on the basis of whether it has ‘radio quality’ work done on it, but for me, the sonic experience is limited here too. This style of production might’ve been better suited to a post-punk/garage rock sound, but with their pop-punk affiliations Bombs for Breakfast needed a fuller drum sound and certainly more vocal tracks to really fill out the sound of this record.
The initial Press To Meco vibe I get from the opening riff is a real curveball compared to Bombs for Breakfast’s EP ‘Fire & Fury’, and for the first 20-30 seconds, my excitement levels for where I think this track could head are at their peak. It’s, therefore, a shame that the effectiveness of this intro is somewhat diminished by the return of a palm-muted, middle of the road verse and pre-chorus that I’d expect from any emerging pop-punk band. By no means is it an assault on my eardrums, it just doesn’t quite jump out at me or excite me to a great extent.
As we progress through the track the excitement of the initial riff returning has dwindled slightly. It’s a welcome return, no doubt, but perhaps the impact it had on me as ‘Old Friend’ sparked into life has been lessened by its effectiveness in relation to the song as a whole. I’m a big fan, however, of ascending and descending guitars fighting for position through the bridge section before a well-crafted moment of silence creates a feeling of anticipation for the final chorus. It’s working out how moments like this can be better fed into Bombs for Breakfast’s song-writing that will separate them from the crowd. They’ve got a way to go, but there’s definitely something to develop from here. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the next release when it comes around.