Album Review: American Television - Watch It Burn
Watch It Burn
American Television gave us our first taste of Watch It Burn, their debut album with Wiretap Records, back in November (2019) with the release of their single “Standing Still.” The song showcased their modern pop-punk vibes balancing against their more melodic side, and it did the trick to getting us amped for the album. Now that we’ve listened to it in full, we’re pleasantly surprised! While songs such as “Wasteland, USA” follow in line with the pop-punk feel of “Standing Still,” American Television avoids the trap of falling too far into only one side of who they are as a band. This point is stamped home the moment you hit play and are met with “Awkward Universe,” a melodic punk rock gem that leans on its guitar riffs and rhythms to chug you alongside the fuel-charged vocals as they lead you through catchy moments that have you singing along with the “whoa oh” – a similar feel is spread throughout the album on songs such as “Parasite,” “Dad’s Song,” and the album closer, “Great Divide.” However, while this album stays on the up-tempo and in your face side of things, there are also slight changes from time to time within the song structures and formulas such as on the fist-pumping anthem “Misprint,” or on “Technology,” the song that could be considered the most mainstream friendly of the batch. There was a time not so long ago when punk rock bands said what they felt and felt what they said. They didn’t care if their opinions suited what you thought because they had something to say and nothing was off limits. That’s exactly what American Television does on Watch It Burn as they knock you square in the teeth by singing directly and honestly about a lot of today’s hot button issues. This is an album for the old school, punk rock heart; One designed for the guy like me who can’t get enough of bands like Face to Face, Millencolin, Pennywise, and The Lawrence Arms.