Album Review: Suburban Legends, ‘Forever in the FriendZone’

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I’m sorry Suburban Legends, but this album is the reason you will be Forever in The FriendZone because it’s not much more than a clever title. If the entire album continued with the momentum the band gained with the eponymous first single, than this album would’ve been immature, but still brilliant. Unfortunately, there was no follow-through, so we’re left with a third rate Bowling for Soup album with horns.

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Forever in the FriendZone starts with “Doing It with You.” The song has mediocre vocals over minimal instrumentals until halfway through. Then the song reminds you that this is supposed to be a ska album when the horns kick in. Only two songs in and “SL High” makes the album go from bad to sad. No one should miss high school solely because life was easier and cheerleaders chanted inane things like “2,4,6,8 who do we appreciate,” which they do repeatedly in the background of “SL High.”

The best song on this album is “Forever in the Friendzone.” It’s a poppy, punky, ska gem told from a guy stuck in the friendzone and has learned to make peace with the situation.

While no one listens to Suburban Legends for the amazing vocals, many of the songs are unlistenable because the vocals go from being pretty good to downright horrible, such as “Leave Me Alone” and their cover of “Thank You for Being a Friend,” better known as the Golden Girls’ theme song.

The rest of the album is a poor imitation of Bowling for Soup, if they were influence by Everclear. It’s disappointing that Forever in the Friendzone attempted to modernize third wave ska through copying the styles of bands that haven’t been relevant since 2004. When Surburban Legends aren’t aping the styles of other bands, their music is completely uninteresting.

Suburban Legends has steadily declined since their first full-length album, Rump Shaker. The constant lineup changes and genre experimentation hasn’t made the band more interesting and sounds like it has stunted their growth as people. They’re at least 15 years out of high school, but those in high school are the only people who could relate to this album and they’re not listening to ska. It’s time to give up on all hope that Suburban legends will recapture the ska-gold that was Rump Shaker.

Rating: 2 out of 10

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Allison Lips is the Founder of Wait! What’s a Dial?, a television blog that showcases the writing of millennials. Allison graduated from Rowan University in May 2013. She has a passion for TV history, especially late night and game shows. If she could go back in time, Steve Allen would still be hosting The Tonight Show. Follow her on Twitter @waitwaitsadial.
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