The Bombpops Death in Venice Beach LP
Since their Fat Wreck Chords debut in 2017, the BOMBPOPS have been popping up on everyone’s radar, and this is the album that should keep them there. They’d previously developed a mastery of the SoCal skate punk sound mixed with killer vocal harmonies that got them on Fat, so now they were able to use that and focus on their lyrics and storytelling. This album finds them in a scary place. Addiction, suicidal ideations, and interpersonal violence all pepper Death in Venice Beach like a fine spice. In the end, there’s a reluctant optimism to the overall feel of the album, but you might have a harder time finding it than you’d expect. There is a complexity here that demands your time. “13 Stories Down” is the perfected version of the sad song every punk kid wrote in high school when they thought they weren’t going to make it. “Notre Dame” and “Double Arrows Down” are some standout tracks that really complete this all-around superb release.