One of the problems with well-established genres is just that. They are well-established. And this generally means that many artists and bands that call such places home or at least regard them as comfort zones are often frightened to step beyond their accepted boundaries for fear of losing their guaranteed audience.

But, it is only through stepping beyond the demarcations of what has gone before that anything moves on, improves, explores, and experiments. It’s a pickle, that’s for sure. Do you play to the gallery and limit your creativity and ambitions, or do you shake things up a bit, evolve the sound and seek out new audiences, accepting that those audiences might be a smaller slice of the pie of profit and a more selective (i.e. smaller) following?

And, although pop punk is a genre that seems to have found its accepted form many decades back, what is great about All We Could Have Been, is that it is the sound of a band tipping their hat to the pop-punk icons of the past, those who helped formulate the rules whilst ripping up those rules and freeing themselves up to take the genre into a bright new future.

Musically, they have one foot firmly planted in familiar territory, but rather than play to the apparent buoyancy and bounce of the genres past, they are happier to fill their songs with a more incendiary, harder and more caustic sound from time to time. Even songs such as Crush 247, which pitch themselves more squarely into that familiar pop-punk sound, are still soaked with more alt-rock-inspired spirals of guitar riffage.

But for the most part, Sorrows From Eden are happiest when mixing and matching and melding other rock sounds with their chosen genre. The opening, titular track is, at times, scared with staccato, metallic riffs, Longing is covered in classic rock grooves and alt-rock moves, and She’s the One grows from gorgeously slow-burning, raw and overdrive ambience (is that even a thing? I guess it is now…) into a punchy, punky slice of spikey rock and roll.

But more than that, if Pop Punk’s past was tarnished with the frat boy humour and lyrical prat falls much loved by the likes of Blink 41, All We Could Have Been is an altogether more mature affair. Sure, it is still loaded with songs of love, loss, longing and life in general, but it feels as if they are reinventing the genre for a, if not necessarily more mature audience, indeed one that the lowest common denominator deliveries of the past might have put off.

Every musical style needs to move on; sometimes, that is a hard thing to do. What works so well here is that there is enough that is familiar about what Sorrows From Eden does to allow the established audience to move with them and fresh enough that it is able to reel in a new audience too. Win/Win!

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