New Releases Reviews

Review: Young Hasselhoff’s ‘Dear Departed’ is full of heart

Nebraska's finest are back with a new album that wears its heart on its sleeve.

The Young Hasselhoffs hail from Omaha, Nebraska and have been around the punk scene making unashamedly poppy punk music for years. They are now back with their fifth full length album ‘Dear Departed’ a relatively swift follow up to their 2022 offering ‘Life Got In The Way’.

Dear Departed‘ is 10 tracks of fun, and hearty pop punk with the emphasis on the poppy part- each song is catchy as hell and the whole endeavour seems determined to put whoever is listening in a good mood. There’s an infectious and irresistible bounce to the whole thing whilst not compromising on heart, sentiment and substance.

Opener ‘Hold Me Now‘ is as clear and crisp as they come, a piano tinkle ushering in the familiar rock set up of guitar, bass and drums doing all they need to do.

Matt Stansbury’s vocals are pure and there’s some early “woah woah woahs” in the chorus (I’m so glad woah woah ohs are making a general comeback, things have been bleak without them). It sets a pace early on that this level of melody is going to be sustained across the subsequent 9 tracks.

It is probably a bit predicable and redundant of me to make comparisons to bands like Blink 182 but there is an undeniable echo of that band in the track ‘Its Been Years‘ but there’s a more wholesome and sincere intention behind The Young Hasselhoffs style.

Tracks like ‘Enjoy Your Part’ create much more of a complex atmosphere, almost like a Western but with a Living End- style intro before expanding out into familiar territory by the chorus. It feels like one of the more ambitious tracks on the album and keeps interest for the second half.

My personal favourite- ‘Something Wicked‘- has some great 60s style harmonies and the pace is all over the place (in a good way) starting off feeling like one of the slower tracks until a speed up at the chorus and then the old switcheroo as it slows down again. It’s a full bodied, sumptuous track and one I had on repeat.

There’s definitely a sense that as the album goes on, we keep the pop punk staples but build upon those foundations with something more mature and eclectic as tracks like the rousing single ‘You Belong  To Me‘ throws in a bit of brass and final track ‘Still Got Time‘ brings in a bit of string action for what is a perfect choice for an album closer.

Lyrically, the album is down to earth, relatable tales of love, hometowns, adventures, characters and growing up. A perfect warming friend as the darker nights roll in. 

Dear Departed‘ is out on 6th October via Mom’s Basement Records. Get your purchasing options HERE. 

  1. Hold Me Now
  2. Its Been Years
  3. Dear Departed
  4. Enjoy Your Part
  5. Something Wicked
  6. Beautiful Annabel Lee
  7. You Belong To Me
  8. McKibben’s Grove
  9. Hear You’re Here
  10. Still Got Time
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