Release Date: July 8, 2022
Genre: Pop Punk, Pop Rock
Label: Independent The Toronto-based pop-punk/pop-rock quartet Oakrest has readied their debut album, Summer Sun, for independent release this Friday. Vocalist Jacob Szabo, guitarist Jacob Graves, guitarist Michael Van, and drummer Chris Zoubaniotis make up Oakrest. The band's debut album Summer Sun sees the band mature with a newfound sonic structure without pulling away from the genre they have always been at the core. Additionally, Summer Sun was a collaborative effort with names like Anton DeLost (cleopatrick, Seaway, Saint Asonia), Kyle Merchant (Silverstein, Boys Night Out, Stick To Your Guns), and more, lending their talents to the album in many different ways. As aforementioned, Oakrest has progressed sonically on Summer Sun and has found their own unique sound while writing and recording the album. Pulling away from their heavier, face-paced, and melodic pop-punk -something similar to A Day To Remember, minus the screams and breakdowns. A type of sound that was heard on their two previous EPs, This Story Need an End (2017) and Annamaria Dr. (2019), to a more polished, well-rounded, and modern mix of pop-punk and pop-rock, with elements of alternative rock. All this can be contributed to the quartet drawing from a long list of their influences that includes Fountains of Wayne, New Found Glory, The Cars, and Blink-182, to some of the current bands dominating music right now, such as Seaway, Neck Deep, and Young Culture.
Summer Sun boldly opens with the utterly infectious lead single, "Olivia." The blistering pop-punk track tells the story of carrying around an all-consuming crush and the adrenaline rush that comes with the thought of putting it into words. "Olivia" showcases Oakrest's newfound polished sonic changes right out of the gate with its chugging power chords, melodic guitar solos, and endlessly fun melodies that will have anybody dancing along. Following "Olivia" is yet another fun track, "Nothing Serious," which acts as the juxtaposition to the opening track. "Nothing Serious" details falling hard for someone in a blossoming relationship that could still go either way. Once again, "Nothing Serious" sonically bleeds that modern pop-infused pop-punk. That style of pop-punk is just perfect to blast during the warm summer months. Very fitting for the album's title. A couple of tracks on Summer Sun, particularly the two tracks "When One Door Opens" and "It's Something You Do," continue on being insatiable pop-punk bangers. Sonically, both tunes are pretty similar in many aspects, but they both stand out on their own. Now, while the middle of Summer Sun isn't as strong as the beginning -or what is yet to come to close out the album- these few songs are still an adventure in their own right and let the band explore some new paths in their songwriting. The very fittingly titled composition, "Take It Slow," takes the band to a brand new environment. Stepping away from all the electric guitars and drums and the glam of pop-punk, Oakrest delivers a massive heartfelt acoustic ballad, and it's an absolute standout of the entire album. Closing out Summer Sun is the album's eponymous title track, "Summer Sun." The title track displays a more tedious musical approach, and the track's choruses are fast-paced and super contagious. The song itself exemplifies what it means to be "summer music." To be honest, this whole album does, start to finish. Whereas the penultimate track, "Final Words," is a melodic, drawn-out, but fast-paced tune. "Final Words" is chock-full of power chords, and it blurs the line between pop-punk and punk in many ways. The album-closing number, "Shed My Skin," is yet another doozy. Most of the best tracks on Summer Sun are the super melodic, hooky, and absolutely infectious tracks -while 95% of the album is just what I described- with "Shed My Skin," Oakrest pulls it off one last time to close the album right. Oakrest has readied the ultimate summer album with their debut, Summer Sun. On the ten-tack effort, from tackling topics from the highs and lows of relationships to fighting the internal battle of finding your true self, the album is juxtaposed sonically with the pop-punk style that bleeds a summery feel throughout. The quartet is ready for you to have the right collection of tunes for your summer in the palm of your hands. Additionally, later this summer, you can party with the band when they hit the road with tour dates in Ontario and Quebec alongside special guests North of 64.