Album Review: Showoff - Midwest Side Story
Midwest Side Story
It’s been 20 years since Showoff unleashed their self-titled debut album, and although there’s been several versions of the band and scattered tunes throughout the years, 2017’s Midwest Side Story saw ¾ of the original lineup reunite to release new music together. Led by “Popular Kid,” Showoff re-introduces their brand of pop-punk as they autobiographically reach out to the loner and embrace them as they pull them into the understanding that it’s okay to be who you are regardless of what anyone says. They continue bringing the sound you’d expect from them on catchy, sing-a-long’s “Outta My Mind,” “I Don’t Hate You Yet,” “Turn Out The Lights” and “Waiting For You,” a holdover from their sophomore effort that was sadly never released to the public. However, once you dig past the nostalgic feels this album gives you, what you’ll discover is a much more mature band that knows exactly when to tone things down and allow their lyrics to shine as they do on songs such as “Ability to Communicate,” “Black Cloud,” and the closing track “Penitentiary,” which seems to pull more from John Lennon’s poetry playbook than that of their punk rock influences. Overall, though, Showoff has delivered an album that hits on a variety of cylinders. Whereas they clearly know who their fans are and what their expectations were, Showoff has also allowed their wide range of influences to shine on this album. From the opening notes to the closing chord, Midwest Side Story offers a collection of songs that gives the listener a perfect snapshot into where they come from, but more importantly, where they’re at today and what to expect from the group as they go forward from here.