Fans of ‘90s rock bands like Stone Sour and Three Days Grace will like the latest release from When Summer’s Gone. Dave Graziani, Chris Lepri, Adam Kramer and Rich “Meatball” Morrone originally came together in 2008 as a studio project. They released their debut album and follow up EPs to rave reviews, and they have continued to evolve their sound with “Knockout Mechanism.”
First up is the fast and gritty “After All,” reminiscent of The Offspring when they weren’t being satirical. It is followed by the single “All Out War,” which is a story with a stirring and honest warning that they “won’t be broken.”
The album starts hard but mellows out in the middle with heartfelt tracks like “Threadbare” and “Like Ghosts.” This is the section of the album that attempts to connect to the pain of the listener, identifying with the agony and despair of hard times before ramping back up again.
“We All Fall Down” is drives the tempo of the album back up but is a bit of a departure; it has a slight swing tempo that is catchy and reminds the listener that the band makes music for themselves. The driving rock continues on, although the vocals are a bit behind the beat on “Each Day,” and by the end it calms down again with the ballad “Reborn.”
The band hails from the stunted steel town of New Castle, Pa., and its members know what working-class pain is. They aim to “create music that speaks to the first generation who can’t rightfully expect to live better than their parents did.” They succeed here, offering up tracks that force the listener through a gamut of emotions as they reflect on the stories weaved by the lyrics.