Album Review: MAKEOUT - The Good Life

Written by Daniel Rourke

MAKEOUT are a band that seemed to hit out of nowhere late last year, as one Warped Tour appearance turned into a record deal with none other than Grammy-nominated producer John Feldmann and a support slot with pop-punk legends Blink-182.

A year on and MAKEOUT are gearing up to show the world exactly why they blew up so quickly, with their debut full-length, 'The Good Life'. Considering the names featured on the album - 5 Seconds of Summer's Ashton Irwin and Calum Hood, as well as Travis Barker of Blink-182 - you'd be forgiven for counting down the days until it's released.

Opening with Childish, there are brief signs that the four piece's debut could border on the line of problematic, as the hooky, almost All Time Low like chords play in the background of a brash tale about growing up, before giving way to anthemic single Crazy.

It's the lead single in which the main problem with MAKEOUT starts to rear its head, as frontman Sam Boxold tells the tale of his 'crazy' girlfriend in the most stereotypically clumsy way possible, dangerously bordering on misogyny.

Unfortunately, misogyny is a theme that is brought to the forefront several times throughout the album, especially on tracks such as Lisa and Secrets, the former featuring lyrics such as: "I love the way your friends say I'm a stalker (as if) // if only they had known I had half their passwords too." The latter, Secrets, is perhaps the most preposterous track on the record, as Boxold throws slurs such as "wh*re" and "bitch" at his ex-girlfriend before comparing her to pornography and telling her to choke on a hotdog. It's a track that's meant to portray a hard-done-by cheated on dude, but ultimately comes across as an anthem for toxic masculinity, which is something the pop-punk scene could certainly do without.

In between the misogynistic chest-beating, there's actually something quite good about MAKEOUT - while they're never going to reinvent the genre, tracks such as Ride It Out and Salt Lake City work well as harmless pop songs that could easily fill venues across the world.

When MAKEOUT are on form, their take on pop-rock/pop-punk is easily comparable to the quality of 5 Seconds of Summer, and it's that which makes 'The Good Life' such a disappointment. If the record was terrible throughout - rather than just several tracks that play on misogyny - then the Massachusetts' band would just be forgotten and discarded onto a pile of testosterone. Unfortunately, that won't be the case, MAKEOUT will go far and will probably hit an arena near you in the coming years, and that's depressing. People who spread hate and disrespect such as this band do, do not deserve their platform.