Overall, Choke Up have delivered an incredible album that people won’t be forgetting any time soon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this grace the top of many album of the year lists come December, despite its release so early in the year. A definite recommendation for fans of bands such as Captain, We’re Sinking and others who excel at crafting punk rock anthems.
Choke Up describe themselves as “four best buds from Boston.” This provided the opportunity for them, by creating music with the people they are closest to, to release a raw, real and emotional sound whilst having a true understanding of each other. These themes of being raw and emotional are all extremely prevalent throughout Black Coffee, Bad Habits as it feels like this is Choke Up at their very best whilst staying true to themselves.
Opener, “Wildflower”, is the best introduction to the album and the band, as it sums up the overall sound of the album; DIY punk yet refined and polished. Their fast drums, shouted vocals and guitars to match, prove that they’ve nailed writing catchy punk songs and coupled with good production. This is an album that you can enjoy listening to over and over.
“1301 Las Vegas Blvd” is one of the songs that stands out the most on Black Coffee, Bad Habits as it mixes slower and softer drums and guitars whilst keeping the harsher vocals to create a great punk anthem. “Coldest Brew” is another focal point of the album and displays perfectly its variety throughout. The blend of twinkly guitar riffs and raw vocals highlight Choke Up’s talent and understanding for creating punk songs with their own twist.
Songs such as “Polka Dot” and “Dry Out” show the band’s diversity and talent for creating beautifully simplistic music to counter the raging punk anthems. Both songs feature an acoustic guitar softly plucked with vocals smoother than the shouts featured on the full band punk tracks. The different style shown on these songs is a true highlight of the album, showing variation and depth with the bands musicality.