Before their debut EP had even arrived, it had largely become an Unwritten But Official Music Law to refer to Meet Me @ The Altar as the future of pop-punk. Signed to Fueled by Ramen, the hype has been growing exponentially. That’s a hell of a lot of pressure for the American trio to live up to; thankfully for everybody, it is a pressure that they breeze past without a care in the world. Phew.
‘Model Citizen’, all six breathless, punchy tracks of it, is a blast of warm air blowing tired old tropes away. There’s something about the band’s decision to rework the entire EP from scratch just before it was due that adds an urgency and cohesion to it, making it feel all of one solid piece rather than a mere collection of good songs. From the opening clash between 16-bit computer sounds into the crunching pop-punk guitar of ‘Feel A Thing’, it feels both all-new and classic in sound. Anxieties ripple to the surface in moments of stark honesty, but alongside them a sense that this is a band who have somehow manifested their own dreams of success.
There are ready-made anthems here, songs for those lost and for those searching for their own paths - a promise that the future can be made better. Everything about ‘Model Citizen’ feels like A Grand Entrance, the confirmation that all that potential is being realised but Is still only a promise of what could be. Don’t call them the future of pop-punk anymore; they’re the big thing right now.