It comes as no surprise upon listening to the newest effort by California based THIS TIME NEXT YEAR that, at the time of release, they have located themselves a support slot with pop-punk behemoths New Found Glory. This Lack of surprise stems from the fact that more than a few tracks off ‘Drop out of Life’ would fit equally as comfortable on any of the records released in the last decade by a number of veteran bands. Not that this is necessarily a negative remark, particularly as This Time Next Year do demonstrate the ability to create up-beat and catchy pop songs. The issue unfortunately lies in the sheer amount of similar sounds that have been compiled onto this release.
With the exception of a couple of tracks (particularly the slower paced melodic number ‘Spoontonic’, or the relentless drumming on ‘Get It, Got It, Good’) the remainder of the album feels particularly platonic. There is little variation in the rhythm or tempo of each song, which the indistinctive nasally vocals fail to distract from. By the time album closer ‘This is an Airport Train’ reaches its conclusion it remains difficult to establish whether the release displays any highlights, or for that matter, lowlights.
This Time Next Year‘s ‘Drop out of Life’ is by no means a terrible record. The band conveys all the necessary components for an album full of summer party anthems and the occasional downbeat melodic escapade. With a little more variation and experimentation, this quintet demonstrates the opportunity to move ahead of the pack. As it stands, ‘Drop out of Life’ does little more than confirm their position in the middle of the crowd.