Provo four-piece Pop Warner keenly weaves between clever youth and resistant adulthood, tethered to the former by its nostalgic, mud-stained name. The forward-facing punk present on “November Air” has skinned knees and dirtied sneakers, too, but not from football or reckless abandon, but the search for clarity amid chaos. That being said, the percussion lays off double-time duty and the guitars grit their teeth rather than resort to snarling. Even the vocals — shot through with smoky adrenaline — smart and bruise, but the blemishes clean up nicely for the instrumental finish, triumphant and veracious, as it climbs out of the well poisoned by failed relationships and growing older. Pop Warner hasn’t easily won their touchdown on this return-to-form track, but their battle to the endzone is one to keep repeating.
Pop Warner’s self-titled EP is available for pre-order on CD and cassette via Hidden Home Records ahead of its August 11th street date.