Philadelphia based alternative punk band, Stud Count, has a hard hitting self-titled Album coming out Friday, July 22nd. It combines elements of Classic, aggressive punk, modern pop punk, and some fun oldies guitar riffs to deliver powerful messages across the 12 track LP.
The album starts out with the track, The Way I Walk. The track has a hard hitting buildup with drums and guitar, pushing in your face, until the vocals come in. It gives a traditional punk vibe, and shows the energy you need to expect! Then, at 1:15, it switches to a melodic guitar riff, almost reminding you of a 60s/70s style solo, quickly increasing the tempo, and ending as quickly as it started.
Before you have time to process it, the album moves right into Pleasure Center. This track solidifies what the last track introduced, the idea of sudden tempo and style changes. Around 0:55, the tempo drastically drops, and a low melodic vocal line replaces the strong rhythmic vocals previously leading. The track ends with the lyrics “Just a hole, inside your mind” with the rhythmic vocals punching the words, and the melodic vocals leaving an echoy undertone, sustained with the guitar.
Track number three, Through My Window, shows more of Norelle’s melodic vocals. The beautiful thing about this track, is the use of the melodic guitar, harmonizing with Norelle. It creates the feeling of background vocals. In some parts, it even feels like a duet, with the guitar’s melody filling the gaps in between her phrases. The guitar is sustained, and creates a transition to the next track, Talkin 2 You. The chorus of this track, plays with syncopation, which creates a really groovy sound, which makes me imagine a crowd dancing along at their shows. It was no mistake that these songs were put next to each other. They perfectly transition, and form a two piece love song. They feel like they continue the same story, yet being amazing tracks on their own, so don’t be afraid to throw one track in the other in your playlist!
Big Fish returns to the heavy and fast punk style, and Norelle’s punchy, rhythmic vocals! The switch in styles between the last two tracks and this one show just how strong of a vocalist Norelle is! She can switch between rhythmic and powerful belts, to melodic and beautiful like it's nothing. In either style, her tone is top notch. This song serves as an upbeat and powerful reminder that she is a powerful vocalist and musician! Big Fish also features the return of the 60s/70s style guitar solo lines. It creates so much depth within the mix, allowing the song to have a little bit of something for everyone. If you want powerful drums and fast paced music for the gym, you’ve got it! If you want to be wowed by the fast moving solo fingers on a guitar, you’ve got it!
Track number six, Push, starts out with the hum of the guitar amp, with a low baseline providing a hidden melody. After about 20 seconds, Norelle breaks the hum with a strong punch of the word Push. With the namesake of the track, she pushes the drums in, and the guitar switches from the hum to some fun chordal strums. Then, 15 seconds later, they continue the trend of tempo changes, and bring back the double time drums.
Give Me Time is the perfect song for modern pop punk artists. It features fast paced chord progressions, double time drums, and soft lyrics that offer something to sing along or dance to! The melodic guitar continues to serve as an answer to the call of Norelle’s vocals. The song ends with a heavy and fun chord progression.
That’s How (I Get It) and Maniacal Laughter seemingly drawing from the classic punk scene. It is a strong, organized chaos calling out the imperfections of authority and the general public status quo, like the lyrics “no human kindness, in the streets of gray” (That’s How (I Get It)), and “Scream down the middle… Watch it Burning” (Maniacal Laughter).
Willow uses more of Norelle’s clean vocals, for a more pop-y sounding song. It gives the feel of a 2000s high school movie soundtrack, perfect for younger audiences to get a healthy dose of nostalgia. It also feels like a perfect school dance song, offering a sense of comfort, back to the simpler days of your childhood.
The penultimate song, Delicacy, contains powerful, and meaningful lyrics. One such set, is “Not too female, not too delicate, HEY Don’t forget it.” It provides a perfect use of the classic punk mindset I mentioned before, of calling out authorities, but using it in modern times. It’s a righteous battle cry on behalf of all of the powerful women striving to stand up for themselves. It’s the shortest track on the record, but has by far the most powerful and important meaning.
The final track of the album, Avenue, is the bow that ties the album together. It starts with a light hi hat pattern on drums, while the guitars build up. The instrumentals come in support of Norelle’s clean vocals, providing a very calming but interesting verse. The chorus is a battle between punchy “make it matter, something more, sing it louder” and “I don’t hear a thing.” This shows how sometimes no matter how much we shout for change, people of authority will act with their vision, including sometimes ignoring the calls.
Make sure to check out Stud Count’s self-titled LP on Friday July 22nd! Let us know what your favorite track is, and follow Stud Count on all social media platforms!