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CELEBRITY HANGOVER – ‘Upon Reflection’ Review


Celebrity HangoverBased out of San Diego, Celebrity Hangover are a four-piece melodic punk rock band originally from Ireland. Back in the early noughties, Celebrity Hangover would act as support band for the bigger touring punk bands when they would play in Belfast. In 2005, the band went to So Cal, USA, on a potential record deal but “the guy turned out to be a prick, so they played a few shows and told him to go fuck himself!”

A couple of weeks after landing back in Ireland with their tails between their legs, all of their equipment was stolen and that was that. Now, nearly fifteen years later, Celebrity Hangover are back, are old as fuck but ready to enjoy every minute! Their debut album Upon Reflection is finally here albeit “half a year late” according to their press materials!

The describe their sound this way: “Imagine a cross between Goldfinger & Bad Religion. Now massively lower your expectations and you have Celebrity Hangover.” – clearly, these folks don’t take themselves too seriously! The album opens with 16 Songs (appropriate as that’s how many we have on this album) with funny, self-effacing lyrics, fast beats, big riffs and melodic vocals creating a helter-skelter skate-punk/pop-punk atmosphere in the vein of NoFX.

On Tonight a restrained introduction flatters to deceive before the guitars kick in and the manically fast beats drive home the song and support the tempo changes with a big, melodic chorus adding to the appeal and then Carlsbad Village Drive channels Bad Religion and Blink 182 with power, precision, pace and pop-punk sensibilities. The momentum continues with the chunky and churning Unaware and The Old Man with the latter packing in the hooks, serrated riffs and beguiling melodies.

The four-minute plus Here With Me marries big bass guitar licks, huge choruses, muscle bound guitars and harmonic vocals to produce a singalong anthem and Get Away seals the deal that these folks are now much more SoCal punk than Northern Ireland punk as they channel contemporaries such as the Offspring and Pennywise with Closer To The Edge showing no signs of letting up on the pop-punk approach played at pace and dripping with melody as the hooks cascade out of the speaker.

96 reminisces about the year that punk influenced the band and Tragedy continues with the melodic pop-punk approach before Make Believe brings serrated riffs and big choruses to the fore as Celebrity Hangover continue to sink the hooks to the solar plexus and they consistently hit the spot! The lament and emotional delivery on Good Ole Days helps produce a superbly energetic punk rocker and the emotional continues on the chunky The Hurt with anthemic choruses mingling with bass driven restrained verses whilst Crazy returns to a more straight up power/skate-punk package.

The second to last song, September 10 is even faster and a bit more aggressive with pounding drums, big guitars and huge vocals and the band close with Our Whole World where some acoustic guitar and restrained vocals craft a ballad like introduction that sets up a fire-cracker of a song.

Celebrity Hangover are offering Upon Reflection as a stream from their website and these sixteen songs are relentless in their delivery of hooks and pop/skate-punk melodies. You can get more info here: http://celebrityhangover.com/