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WPGM Recommends: New Politics – Vikings (Album Review)

New Politics Vikings
New Politics originally hail from Copenhagen in Denmark but moved to Brooklyn after signing with their first label RCA. In 2010, a year after moving, drummer Poul Amaliel dropped out and moved back. With the drummer’s stool now empty, they found Louis Vecchio to fill it. The band were gripped by the alternative-rock lifestyle and have supported bands such as Panic! At The Disco, Pink, Paramore, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Fall Out Boy. In 2014, they even signed up to Pete Wentz’s record label DCD2. So, after building up a sound reputation in the alternative rock scene, what has their new album Vikings got to offer?

The first word that comes to mind when recalling New Politic’s third album Vikings is ‘energetic’. Most of the tracks have a summer-festival type of energy where carefree youngsters are having fun and letting loose. As is evident with each of their albums, the band transcend genres: “Pop-punk, pop-rock, dance… you can label that all New Politics because we love it all and that truly is what we are, we’re a melting pot of everything”, notes Vecchio in an interview with PLOP.

The track that introduces the album is “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens)”, and it would feel wrong not to mention; it’s catchy, packs a punch, and appeals to anyone who’s ever known what it’s like to be down and out. Lines like, “This one’s for my friends who don’t give a fuck / So if you don’t give a f**k, sing…” reek of a ‘screw it, we’re young’ attitude and is supported by a slow drumroll that bursts into the chorus. David Boyd’s voice is isolated from most of the instruments in the lead-up to the chorus and it encourages people to listen like one would to a motivational speaker.

In general, the song is meant to uplift and inspire hope into listeners’ hearts. Boyd calls it a “celebration” of making it through hard times and speaks to “our fans and the friends that stuck with us, all the radio station and blogs that supported us, our management, our label, all the people that believed in us”. Trivia: this song was featured on the trailer for The Sims 4: Get To Work and is sung in Sim language (officially called ‘simlish’) throughout.

“West End Kids” follows “Everywhere I Go” perfectly and could easily act as an epilogue, or maybe appear on an EP alongside it. On top of a pop dance beat, Boyd sings, “We are the voices you never heard / We are the fire you never let burn / We’re just some kids from the West End”. The take-home message is they’re just regular guys who weren’t always successful, but they made it anyway.

The ‘West End’ that the band is referring to, is Vesterport in Copenhagen and, according a post on Facebook, “It’s where we played some of our first shows, where we first fell in love, and first felt heartbreak. It’s also where we had to say goodbye in order to make the sacrifices needed to move to Brooklyn and live out our dream of playing music”.

“Lovers In A Song” is the kind of slow jam that would be played in a dance hall, where two lone lovers are dancing in the middle of a hall. Boyd has a chance to show what his voice can do when he isn’t raising it and, you know, it works! The song speeds up for thirty seconds in the middle but aside from that, it’s very soothing and romantic. I think that it’s important to showcase the variety that New Politics have because the first song can be misleading. They’re more than alt-rock guys with a ‘f**k the world’ attitude. “Stardust” is another love song with lyrics like, “Why do you make me want to / Leave the word behind? / Our ship is stuck in a bottle / Let’s break the glass tonight”. A piano accompanies most of the lyrics, the melody intertwining itself with the words and to make them glimmer.

The album ends on “Freedom” and is, at first glance, almost twelve minutes long. In fact, the track has minutes of silence between each clip of sound, and the majority is of them messing around, talking, rapping, and saying goodbye (which is loosely disguised as a song). The first bit of the song seems to be referencing Pinocchio and boasts of having “no strings attached on me”. Upon first listen, I was less than impressed, but it shows that New Politics don’t take themselves too seriously and have the ‘freedom’ to do whatever they like in life as well as on their closing track.

Overall, Vikings has a feel-good message behind it, which will appeal to a mainstream audience with a liking of rock, a little dance, and some punk thrown in for good measure. It isn’t widely experimental, but the songs don’t all sound the same either. Vikings is out now on Warner Bros. Records, purchase it on iTunes here.

Words by Shanade McConney

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