Blink-182 may have said we could have Halloween on Christmas, but local band Never Coming Home decreed it could also be on Thanksgiving – who knew?
With their sophomore release on Thanksgiving Day, this band of talented high school kids are quickly carving out their own slice of pop punk culture through their expertly-layered artistry and musicality. Largely reminiscent of 2000s era All Time Low, Anthony Hefler’s vocals cut through the instruments played by his friends bassist Derek Lima, drummer Merritt Cathers, and guitarist Aidan Sullivan.
I had the pleasure of hearing this song played live back in September at one of their Rhode Island gigs, and this fully-mastered version by Blake Roses (yes, as in, the former vocalist of the band Oh Weatherly) exceeded my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I knew it would be great, especially as a follow-up to their breakout single “Runaway” – but there’s something undeniably impressive about the production and content value of this piece. It sounds like something fresh off of alternative radio, and sits just as comfortably in today’s soundscape as well as it might have had it been written in 2009.
“Waiting it out, just like they said I should. Waiting ’till the one day, tears should have went away. Can’t bear to look, can’t bear to swallow. Keep on the mask, days after Halloween.”
Sonically, this song features intelligently-layered harmonics, guitar riffs, and intricate drum beats that kick in right from the beginning. Verses and choruses flow seamlessly together which makes the bridge and its accompanying vocal harmonies all the more impactful. Believe me when I tell you, these kids are incredibly gifted – there is no way the average teenager could pull this off. When I first heard it, my jaw literally fell to the floor, especially with the beautifully dream-like MIDI violin toward the end and the gentle acoustic outro that beautifully resolves with the major-chord tonal center.
The dynamically-calmer ending that shows it’s okay to acknowledge these struggles, and that eventually, even if the rain still pours down – it’s going to get better.
The lyrics “oranges and yellows bleed through the trees” provide some beautiful nature imagery of the fall season in New England, and likens it expertly to the ever-changing mental space of the average young adult trying desperately to grow up amidst significant life stressors and heightened emotions. This kind of lyricism shows so much maturity and skill, and I am so glad that Blake Roses collaborated with them on this gorgeous song that I’m sure will help so many people.
After all, everyone feels out of place one time or another. And sometimes it’s hard to separate reality from the tensions inside. But music like this can help. Be sure to take a listen and stream on your platform of choice to show these kids you love what they’re doing – I know I do.
Follow the boys of Never Coming Home on Instagram and Twitter @nchbandri for more updates and insightful music that offers more than just meets the ear!
Listen to Halloween HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5TMeSNpRuE