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A Throwback To Warped Tour with Action/Adventure: Album Review

With the days of Warped Tour long gone, finding bands to scratch that itch can be tough to find. Luckily, Action/Adventure has the solution!

Action/Adventure is a pop-punk band hailing from Chicago and destroying all sorts of stereotypes within the scene. They are a group in which their members are BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color). Hailing from Chicago, Action/Adventure is a fully BIPOC pop-punk band destroying long time stereotypes and providing much needed diversity to the scene’s roster. Playing together since 2014, they have released multiple singles, EPs, and albums, catching the attention of Pure Noise Records after the release of the very powerful music video for their song “Barricades”. The band was signed to the label in 2020 and released their debut effort Pulling Focus in April of 2021.

Photo by LA Rodgers

The band just recently put out a new record called Imposter Syndrome which captures every emotion possible. It is a fun record while being super serious, it makes you want to think while making you want to dance. The band recently put out their sophomore album, Imposter Syndrome, creating an impressive balance between being in deep thought and wanting to dance. Action/Adventure lays out every emotion they are feeling within this record but it isn’t overbearing. It feels therapeutic to those who can relate whether it be to the whole album or a singular song. Usually pop-punk is stereotyped to be centered for teens or young adults but the themes on this album are themes adults can relate to. Attaining unrealistic dreams, being a person of color, being in a band, and growing up are some of the themes present in the album. Action/Adventure describes it best, this is pop-punk for adults.

Emotions get laid out right away as the band comes in strong with the title track “Imposter Syndrome”. The music is strong, upbeat, and doesn’t let up while the band sings about the feelings of living their dreams of being musicians and how it doesn’t feel real. With this album being one of the most coherent albums heard this year there seems to be a follow up later in this record within the song “Losing Streak”. It feels like a sequel to “Imposter Syndrome” due to the lyrics, “I’m covered up in cobwebs and layers left in dust. My mind’s bending backwards with questions who to trust.” It continues the themes of imposter syndrome that are throughout this album. Imposter syndrome is a theme that hasn’t been prevalent and so forefront on many albums especially from a band so young. Action/Adventure captures it so well though that as a listener you can look back on past events and realize you might’ve been going through the same.

One thing that I found a lot of enjoyment with this album is that musically it doesn’t slow down. Usually that can be a detriment towards the album but with this the intense emotions curated from the music compliment each of the themes in the album. The biggest complimentary emotion that the music is the feeling of burnout and uncertainty in the future that comes from certain songs on this album like “Frozone, True King in the North” through singer Blake Evaristo singing the lines “I’m feeling like a pixel dead on the screen, I’m burning out I’m burning out.” This is the one song that could relate most to their audience as everyone feels burnout at some point in their life and the intensity of the song makes it feel almost like an I hate you letter to the feeling itself. Imposter syndrome doesn’t slow down. Instead of this being a detriment to the album, the fierce emotions built up from each song continuously compliment each theme. Feelings of burnout and uncertainty of the future are highlighted in “Frozone, True King in the North” as vocalist Blake Evaristo sings, “I’m feeling like a pixel dead on the screen / I’m burning out, I’m burning out.” The intensity of the song is reminiscent of an I hate you letter to the feeling everyone has experienced. Imposter Syndrome comes full circle with “Wanderlust”, “ I owe it to myself and everyone I love. Is this enough?” Bringing it back around especially in the order that it does on the record brings a resolution to this album.

Imposter Syndrome is an album for the mature by the mature. While the instrumentals will make you nostalgic to the days of Warped Tour, the lyrics will bring you to the now and tell you you’re not alone in dealing with burnout, not feeling like yourself, or feeling like you don’t belong. Action/Adventure provides an album much needed in the pop-punk community for more reasons than one. They are accomplishing their mission as a band bringing representation to the community while providing amazing music in the process. You can check out more details regarding the album and how else to listen through their page on Pure Noise Records website.

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