When pop-punk hit its heyday back in the late '90s, it was the spirit of the music as much as the music itself that set the stage for a new generation of music kids. A decade later, most of that generation—my generation—have moved on, even if we still hold a soft spot for Blink-182 and still have some old Atticus shirts stuffed away in our closet. A Cursive Memory, hailing from Los Angeles, continue in well-trod footsteps with the launch of their debut album Changes.
Changes doesn't break new ground, but, breaking new ground wasn't what Changes was intended for. Rather, A Cursive Memory seeks to capture that spontaneous energy that drew so many of us to this particular brand of music years ago. Nonetheless, with song after upbeat song, it stands to reason why most of us progressed on to deeper music, as the pop-punk scene has long since gone flat. If you grew up listening to albums full of distorted guitars riffing through major scales, it's not possible to downright dislike Changes, but at the same time, it's hard to get too excited over pop-punk anymore. The occasional keyboard adds a dose of flavor, but nothing as elaborate as Something Corporate. Ten years ago, A Cursive Memory would have had something more enticing to say. Still, these guys only want to capture the energy that had so many of us enraptured with Blink-182 and New Found Glory during our high school days. And for that, who can fault them?