REVIEW: Back Pocket Memory – Back Pocket Memory

Back Pocket Memory featured.

Artist: Back Pocket Memory
Album: Back Pocket Memory
Genre: Rock, Alternative

Let’s just get it out of the way; Back Pocket Memory’s self titled EP lacks any addictive qualities. Therefore, instead of going on a 500 word rant ripping it apart, I’m going to use this review as a teaching tool for all bands. Get out your pen and paper kids.

There are certain steps that need to be followed in order to gather the exposure needed as a band to garnish a glowing and positive album review. For starters, the album you are asking a complete stranger to review needs to be either interesting or attention seeking. Now, I am neither new to music nor an idiot. Therefore, I fully understand the irrationality of asking every musician to insure that every album ever released be fresh and original. From Bach to Bachman Turner Overdrive every angle has been covered. Like urban sprawl, every inch of usable creativity has been consumed and copyrighted by someone else. Therefore it is hard to fault any band for sounding like a carbon copy of another. Yet, I would be lying if I didn’t point out that this epidemic has resulted in an extremely disinteresting movement in music. With record labels formatting cookie cutter formulas for success, bands are just kicked off the production line to place albums on the shelves and fill the airwaves with replaceable trash-pop singles. Music isn’t nearly in the renaissance period that it once was. Hell, it hasn’t been for a long time.

So logically, no one should be shocked by my decision to refer to Back Pocket Memory as adequate. Honestly, that’s the best I can do. Their self titled cut, which contains five shoe-shined tracks, is a perfect example of the simplification of music.

No. Stop! Wait! Read it again. I didn’t say their music was simple. I said the simplification of music. Let me explain in detail what I mean.

Think of the music industry as an overgrown field. Tall grass has reached lengths as tall as your eyes and weeds and bushes have overtaken everything. Everything is consumed. On one side of the field is mom’s basement. That’s where a band starts. One the other side rests gold records, radio play and porn stars wanting to do blow off your dick. To get there, the band has to figure out how to get through the bushes, thorns and shrubs. There only system for getting  from point A to point B is by knocking that shit out of your way. It is hard not to respect any band that does so. However, thanks to Nickelback, Incubus and every other mullet rock band made popular by bros running trains on Gamma Girls, that once overgrown field is now trampled into a simple path. Bands simply walk where other bands have walked.  Instead of having to spawn a movement, Back Pocket Memory simply has to mimic one already created.

If you don’t believe me spin the album yourself. During the album’s opening track “The Prisoner” Chris Pennington’s vocals reeks of Brandon Boyd karaoke session. However, the imitation falls flat due to the lack of punch Boyd often possess in his storytelling. The mundane lyrics of the song are both redundant and uninteresting. This is disheartening as the music placed behind Pennington could at times, by some, be considered both catchy and marketable. It seems wasted on such an ignorable plotline.

This holds true throughout the album. “Hide and Seek” finds quick, punchy guitar riffs lended to ineffective vocals. The builds never quite reach their max as Pennington never quite sells them as well as he should. The same could be said of “Catapult.” Nothing happening here is groundbreaking or Earth shattering. There is no buzz from the release. This above all is a waste of my time. An album should manage to hit a reviewer like a car wreck affects rush hour traffic. Regardless of schedule, safety or simple respect of others, you simply have to take a peek and the sideshow. It should leave you wondering and begging for more.

This release does nothing of the sort. There is nothing here to remember. Nothing to revisit. It is simply noise for noise’s sake.

There is no place in music for that in my humble opinion.

Score: 4/10

Review written by Joshua Hammond

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  • nateisbliss

    wow…a nickleback reference. have you ever listened to nickleback?

  • Sara

    not sure which record you listened to…? couldn’t disagree more

  • UnderTheGunNeedsANewReviewer

    This reviewer must be retarded! This is more of an insult to Incubus for being used in the same sentence as Nickelback. I think this EP is one of the greatest things I have heard in a long time. The song formulas will be more appealing to the mainstream crowd, but there is nothing wrong with that! If you liked old school Incubus or 30 Seconds to Mars, they are definitely worth checking out! This EP has made me a fan. I can’t wait for their tour in the fall!

  • This is the most self-aggrandizing, let-me-jerk-off-my-faux-industry-“knowledge”-in-public piece I’ve read since the last time I accidentally read a review on absolutepunk. You are boring and have nothing of value to say.


    Nickelback? Are you tone deaf? Did you even listen to this EP or do you just like talking to hear yourself? I don’t think you can be credited after putting incubus and nickelback in the same sentence, you obviously know nothing about music. UTG, I love you but this writer was a bad choice

  • Haters gonna hate. Hammond gonna Ham.

  • I’m just going to leave one thought here to start: in what ways do you find this EP like Nickelback? Sure, I’d say the vocalist has a vibe similar to modern rock, but besides his vocal tone, explain how ANY of this is comparable to that band, or any of the other bands you’ve listed?

    Does that mean you expect vocalists with distinct tone to just sit out?

  • Ok, I lied, I have one more point I’d like to make before I rip this article to shreds.

    There is ONE sentence in the article about the musicianship. One.

  • thedocument

    Wow. Get your head out of your ass dude. This was such an idiotic rant that held no relevance to the actual subject at hand. Get off that pedestal and quit writing reviews, if this is the garbage that you think passes as deep thought or a “teaching tool,” tool.

  • Christian H.

    This was a terrible piece and I learned nothing about the Back Pocket Memory. This was not a review so much but an exercise in beating your own meat. UTG please get a new writer because this should not be acceptable.

  • DeafDumbBlind

    First of all, if you have been given the chance to write a review…good for you. I don’t know who let someone who has no knowledge of basic sentence structure even write a review. I agree with everyone else as well. You are not good at your job. Find something else to do with your time that actually makes sense. Also, your cocaine off a dick reference is disgustingly inappropriate. UTG, it’s time to find a new reviewer, preferably one who knows when to use a comma and a hyphen.

  • Brian Fulda

    Good job writing a ninth grade English essay on music instead of actually reviewing the EP given to you, imbecile. I’ll give you props for having the balls to actually speak your mind on it but next time stay on topic. Maybe try quoting the lyrics you thought bored you or note the duration of parts you didn’t like and why. Kind of common sense for writing reviews, which you clearly lack.

  • Coors Light Drummer

    As a lifelong rock music fan your article sickened me. BPM are a breath of fresh air that has every ingredient that it takes to make the kind of music that appeals to tastes in rock. The musicianship is off the charts, the hooks are huge and the vocals convey the message of the music perfectly.Dude. your the type of pretentious asshole that wanted to be a rockstar nut never did.LOSER

  • LetsBeHonest

    Let’s get it out of the way, this is an obnoxious, ignorant and pretentious misinterpretation of what a music review should be. Frustration with the music industry is understandable and acceptable, though a review of a single band is not the place to publicly vent. Joshua Hammond complains of the simplification of music using elaborate metaphors. He jumps quickly on the bandwagon of the hating the genre’s leading scapegoat, Nickelback. Yes, there is a looming disenchantment with rock ’n’ roll; but, to claim that Back Pocket Memory has fallen into the same rut as a band such a Nickelback is to compare an up-and-coming collegiate athlete with an aging, past-his-prime benchwarmer. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and not everyone needs to love BPM; but, comparing Chris Pennington to Brandon Boyd is obvious. While Boyd and Pennington’s vocal range and tone is similar, Incubus and Back Pocket Memory are worlds apart. It’s clear Hammond has a personal distaste for Boyd and Pennington, using this to avoid giving an critique for the musicianship of the band. Hammond’s humble opinion is anything but a review of BPM’s new EP. In reality this review is ‘nothing to revisit. It is simply noise for noise’s sake.’

  • Grammar Police

    “There only system for getting from point A to point B is by knocking that shit out of your way.”
    Just thought I’d point that out there.

  • Madden

    The reviewer probably found out that Mrs. Hammond was sleeping with the basketball team, and one of them looked like the singer of BPM. This is a rant that has nothing to do with this band and listening to 30 seconds of each song doesn’t warrant a speech about the simplification of music. sounds more like the simplification of EP reviews

  • “Now, I am neither new to music nor an idiot.”

    Nice double negative, dude. Perhaps you should learn some proper grammar before you claim to not be an idiot.

    This article oozes with misguided cynicism towards one of the hardest working bands I know. They are by no means cookie cutter. There isn’t some suit working at some label who put these guys together; they came together organically to make this band. Hell, the fact that you don’t have a label to list for them and the fact that this album was born purely out of their impeccable DIY-work ethic should be pretty indicative of that fact. Their albums are made with total dedication and while you don’t have to be in love with Chris’ vocal timbre, to imply that he is mundane in anyway is incredibly unwarranted. They put on some of the most incredibly high-octane shows I have ever attended that can even get a guy like me who generally does NOT like their genre of music to dance. That is no easy feat.

    I know the kind of guy you are, man. I deal with your kind all of the time. You’re the kid who thinks you are too good for the industry. You have SOOO much insight that you can see through the bullshit. But you really can’t. You’ve become so jaded that even when an group like BPM comes along who sounds vaguely reminiscent to a ‘main-stream’ band you’ve heard before you immediately write their music off as being banal and insipid.

    So my message to you Mr. Incredibly Condescending Reviewer Man is this;
    Grow. The fuck. Up.

    Plain and simple.

    Their is no room for your kind of fuckery in our modern-day society. I don’t care if you’re making $7.25 an hour at McDonalds or are President of the United States. Absolutely NOBODY wants to hear your misguided cynicism. Nobody wants to hear you bitch and moan about your misguided views.

    I’m not saying you aren’t allowed to not like their music. It’s a free country. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, as a reviewer perhaps instead of making an example of this band you should be giving them.. you know.. constructive criticism? You don’t need to rip the guys a new asshole, cause I’m pretty sure they all only need one.

  • Alex

    This was the biggest waste of my time. This was no where near a review. UTG, please get a new reviewer. Much love to Back Pocket Memory from Far From You. Facebook/ffymusic