At a time where everything old seems new again (hello, "Pokemon GO"), Nazareth' FM Waves' fittingly channel their inner blink-182 on the band's debut album, From Small Beginnings.
Rather than wading into the water, they dive headfirst into currents of sunny pop-punk. The opening title track sets the album's bright tone, and brisk pace, for the music that follows.
From Small Beginnings echoes the aforementioned blink's own Dude Ranch, where the songs spark and sizzle with flashes of pop yet retain the feisty spirit of punk.
"Come and fix me all night, because I've been broken for too long" vocalist-guitarist Kyle Werner sings on the catchy, percussion-driven "So Wrong," one of the album's standout tracks. The mid-tempo follow-up, "Start Over Again," carries the momentum forward.
The songs on From Small Beginnings are well-crafted and executed nicely. There are some spots where Werner seems to be vocally overextending himself. However, those moments are not enough to distract or take away from the strength of the music. In a live setting, the quartet's infectious energy gives Werner the strength to pull it off.
Werner, lead guitarist Nick Wilson (dropping successions of melodic intrigue throughout), bassist Tyler Kern and drummer Nate West are a talented quartet. (The latter two make for a lean and bouncy rhythm section.)
From Small Beginnings is a solid first leap that lands squarely on both feet.
From Small Beginnings will be available digitally July 19 on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and BandCamp. Pre-orders can be made through FM Waves' BandCamp page.