In “Miss You,” the latest single from Chasing September, the pop-punk outfit’s singular driving force – Don Davis – marvelously melds Bob Mould-style vocal harmonies with furious riffing that would appeal to casual rockers as much as it would serious punks with a discriminating taste for rebellious rhythm, and while it’s not the only alternative anthem worth checking out this April, this track is undeniably one of the smarter songs of its style to debut in 2020 thus far. On the surface, Chasing September isn’t much different from the scores of bands to came to prominence in the post-grunge early 2000’s, but beneath the cosmetic finish lies a talented multi-instrumentalist who doesn’t consider the status quo when making new music.
The drums here are perhaps even more violent than the guitar parts are (which isn’t a common feature in punk rock, old school or contemporary, to say the least), and in more ways than one, I think they define the narrative in this song more than anything else does. The lyrical content in “Miss You” is fine, but were it not framed with as physical a groove element as it was in this instance, I don’t know if it would have landed as well as it ultimately does in this state.
Though the bassline in this single isn’t quite as heavy as I would have expected it to be, the efficiency that the construct Davis decided to go with here yields a lot of additional edginess in the music that wouldn’t have been present here otherwise. The hook in the chorus definitely benefits from the lack of oozing low-end tonality, and to some extent, I think this setup actually sets Chasing September apart from the project’s mainstream rivals in the best possible way – emphasizing simplicity over commercial indulgence (a concept that used to sit at the very foundation of punk rock).
“Miss You” enjoys an excellently clean production quality, but I wouldn’t say that anything about its mix – or its material, for that matter – feels or sounds even remotely plasticized. In creating as fine a definition as he did in this single, Don Davis is able to highlight just how versatile a player and, more importantly, a composer he can be when there aren’t any artistic limitations set before him. He’s still got some room for growth, but from the looks of this track, he’s well on his way to making a big splash outside of his native market.
For those who would be as bold as to say that pop-punk is dead in 2020, Chasing September puts out one heck of a conflicting statement in “Miss You” that will almost certainly put the genre’s few remaining doubters to rest once and for all. There are a lot of really exciting alternative rock acts coming out of the underground at the moment, but if you want something straightforward and slightly familiar in tone (as opposed to fervently experimental, as so many indie hits have been this spring), this is the single you’ll want to pick up this April.