Hey, more pop punk. Anyway. House Boat is a super group type situation. So, blah blah The Steinways, The Ergs!, Dear Landlord, Off With Their Heads, and Rivethead blah blah. As far as sound, this basically sounds like The Steinways, but a little less goofy. It is pretty awesome.
At first glance, one would assume this is just a shit mix of better things. I mean, the cover and layout is the same as Television City Dreams (by Screeching Weasel). The title, The Thorns Of Life, is a reference to a latter day Blake Schwarzenbach band. Then we have the drawn out/funny song titles like, “I Live Directly Across The Street From The Outback Steakhouse” and “Throwing In Those Weird Chords Did Wonders For The Copyrights And Dopamines (Theme From House Boat).” This record would, to people unfamiliar with the band, look like just another shitty pop punk record. Luckily, it is not.
The overarching theme of this record is being old, pessimistic, and jaded. But, save for a few parts here and there, this record sounds bouncy and poppy. The pity parade never gets too overbearing. Mostly it is just the kind of record that old bastards who grew up in the punk scene can get stoked on.
Where this record separates itself from the previous record, The Delaware Octopus, is that it allows a little more depth. I hate when people say a band matured. That said, this is more of a “mature” record. “Pityscapes” and “Bug Out” manage to sidestep the genre standards. They are slow to mid-tempo. The latter being a mostly acoustic ballad. It can be a bit bad for the flow of the album, but both songs are great.
Basically, this is a pop punk record for people who are tired of the high school schtick. Yeah, you still get the pop punk love songs. The only difference is that now they are written by adults being adults (instead of adults writing like they are in high school). And, maybe they are a little less optimistic.
And, you know, “Real Life As A Metaphor For Real Life” and “A Song In Which I Try To Convince Myself To Stop Being Such A Fucking Idiot” are totally awesome.