If you were a tumblr user and fan of bands like The Front Bottoms and TWIABP in 2015, it’s near impossible to not have heard of Insignificant Other. Lead vocalist and songwriter, Sim Morales has been releasing covers with some originals via bandcamp for last half of the decade, but the recent release of i’m so glad i feel this way about you paints a picture of a triumphant pop-punk band with a Brooklyn-sensibility despite their Alabama by way of Gainesville location.
Similar to contemporaries like Long Neck, Morales mixes singer-songwriter aesthetics with pop-punk punctuation. The album opens with the rollicking title track, and proceeds to give nearly 40 minutes of almost entirely sugary sweet, yet gritty pop-punk. A song like “un mensaje” has the same sing-along-ability of a Green Day song with it’s chorus of “I know it’s just the wrong place at the wrong time/but I know you’re the right person at the wrong time.” It’s a moment of catchy songwriting that rarely shines exactly the same way on the album, despite much of it being built around a similar structure. “Heathers” and the title track both offer similarly simple choruses to leap into.
The other moments the album shines is when Morales either flexes their singer-songwriter chops or experiments a little bit more than just writing a standard pop-punk song (see the post-punky “freya”). “January” is pure bedroom pop, reminiscent of Morales’ voice memo covers, and despite being fleshed out “bitter sweetness” is a powerful cut that doesn’t need the full band treatment, though it helps. “Flyswatter” achieves a similar effect, but with a little more subtlety. By booking ending the album with “i’m so glad i feel this way about you (reprise),” it shows a little bit more ambition than the likes of Diet Cig or Long Neck.
Despite being an undeniably fun album, Insignificant Other do very little to separate themselves from their bedroom punk contemporaries. While Morales is willing to push their limits, they don’t pull far enough here nor do they really hone in on what made them so memorable when just recording with a ukulele. A number of the songs, even some of the more interesting ones, could’ve been cut from this album to have been a solid debut EP.
Despite not being the best thought out album, this is an album with plenty of fun songs. Hopefully, it’s an establishment for a great band. “Heathers” is sure to be a regular summer singalong, and “january” will be played alone in my car late at night, but “dont @ me devin” could’ve stayed on bandcamp.