Reviewed – Wishful Thinking – Day After Day (2020) /// We’re Not Alone (2016)



Day After Day

Released – 3/7/20

Rating – 4.5/5

“Day After Day” is the first new music from Wishful Thinking in three years. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Does this track truly feel like a re-birth of the band? Definitely. The New Jersey pop-punk outfit has transformed their original formula to evolve so logically and fluently. With a full-length record on the horizon also, this new in-site to the band will surely be a rush of anticipation for new and old listeners of the band. “Day After Day” is a refreshing reminder of what pop-punk should be. Wishful Thinking are on-course for success and have quite clearly taken the time to evolve their craft in the past three years and are a perfect contender for a pop-punk act that could truly be flying through the ranks of the alternative music world.

The track comes immediately to life. With an energetic eighth note drum beat creating a backbone for the unexpected but pleasant syncopated synthesizer to fall into a prominent place. The musical setting is politely and tastefully interrupted by a thick distorted guitar that truly begins the Punk chapter of the song. The sounds contest in harmony and work in unison to create an opening section that is an ideal beginning for a pop-punk track released in 2020.

The vocals are presented in a melody that is easy on the ear and adds to the overall persona of the track. They pay homage to the early years of pop-punk and bands such as The Movie Life and The Starting Line become highlighted names when hearing the vocals in “Day After Day”. An authentic modern rock atmosphere is created in the song and every texture used sounds memorizing and a surge of energy is felt in every section.

A pure pop-punk chorus is brought to life and by the time the chorus section is approached, you would expect nothing less of Wishful Thinking. The tempo, combined with the vocal harmonies, sounds fantastic and work in unison to be everything they need to be. The bridge sees a production shift, courtesy of Nik Bruzzese, and the whole track is filtered out. This complements the thick texture and reverb used in this track. Showing that this isn’t just a standard pop-punk approach. This track is a modern complexed treatment given to the genre, and in a time where so many big-name bands are producing material that is weak, it is bands like Wishfull Thinking that should be receiving the attention and energy from listeners.

Wishful Thinking are back and have a recipe for success, lets just hope the full release later this year expands on the features propelled in this first single and this new chapter of the band.

We’re Not Alone

Released – 3/5/16

Rating – 4/5

New Jersey pop punkers Wishful Thinking released a new single ‘Day by Day’ so what a good opportunity, we thought, to peruse some of the back catalogue. Check out the review of the single also on Faultline, but pick up some background knowledge on the way; let’s listen to the 2016 EP ‘We’re Not Alone’.

The first impression you get from the record is akin to stepping into a basement room gig of  pop punk in its heyday; the sound is a familiar blend of heroes of the past such as Blink 182, New Found Glory and others too numerous to name. 

The songwriting is on the more mature end of the pop spectrum, whilst still holding onto the elements that make this genre so foot-tappingly impulsive. Upbeat rhythms, simple yet effective vocal melodies and a healthy dose of heartbreak make this EP a nice testament to the rock radio bands that came before.

One of the most exciting things about the record is Tom DeLonge lending guest vocals to every track. No I kid, but lead singer Evan seems to channel him uncannily well; so if you’re a fan of the more mature Blink material from the mid 2000s it’ll definitely bring back some very pleasant memories.

There’s a good amount of variation among the tracks to separate the group’s identity from a typical three chord pop punk outfit too; the second track ‘Drown’ demonstrates some really nice changes in the chorus offering a more down tempo experience. Similarly ‘Bane’ establishes itself as a very typical pop punk offering, but also includes some nice, understated middle bars just to break up the track and provide some nice variety.

The mix is professional sounding, there’s room for all the instruments to breathe with some particularly nice guitar parts ringing through clearly over the top of the chords; the vocal harmonies come through well and reverb is used tastefully throughout but not as a crutch. 

‘We’re Not Alone’ is a fantastic showpiece for the band, recorded in 2016 it’s a stepping stone in the development of their sound; it’s great to listen to this EP then hear the progression on the new single ‘Day After Day’ which, without giving too much away, is also definitely worth checking out. 

An exciting prospect for the future, Wishful Thinking make their mark on the punk scene  and hopefully have a lot more to offer; one to watch and listen for with great anticipation.

Collaborative review by Rob Kent and Theo Wildgoose

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