This Drama’s San Diego XIII features punk that flirts with poppy intentions and has some dance rock thrown in for good measure. If that sounds even remotely intriguing to you, this album is a good investment.
There’s honestly not much more I can say to convince you that doesn’t fall under that previous statement. The band cranks out the tunes with charging riffs, hollered vocals and the requisite amount of snare. Some songs are ready-made for pogoing (“She Had a Knife!” ). Others beg to be moshed to (“Strictly Dishonorable”). “Tiger vs. Lion” has a tight dance vibe that is way more uninhibited (in a good way) than any of the Killers’ or the Bravery’s work. “Fish Taco” takes a fifty-three second detour into metal.
The hollered vocals aren’t as raw as Latterman’s, nor are they as soft and melodic as radio-friendly pop-punk bands. They fall somewhere in the middle. They’re able to be yelled along to, but they’re also able to be sung. There’s group vocals, too; no worries there. They go all-out rage on “F*ck Your Local Scene,” and given the title and song sound, it totally fits. “Hungry Eyes” also has some pretty intense vocals, but the music of the song is less ferocious than the aforementioned.
The highlight tunes here are “Tiger vs. Lion” for its aforementioned dancy goodness, and “Hungry Eyes” because of the little intro (I know that sounds weird, but you’ll remember it and listen to “Hungry Eyes” more because of it). San Diego XIII is a good pop-punk album. There’s nothing ground-breaking about it, but it’s solid, enjoyable and worth popping in the CD player when you’re knocking about town with the windows down.