Pop Punk is Better Off with Assuming We Survive

After seeing them live for the second time, I hope bigger and better things come for the Inland Empire group.

Living in Southern California provides me with the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for the music I love. Last night, I traveled to The Roxy in West Hollywood to see a band that was important to me during my college years but that I had somehow never seen live. Matchbook Romance released Stories & Alibis in 2003, and not soon after I had all the lyrics and melodies memorized. The album will always be important to be, so I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to finally see some of the songs performed live.

I’m glad I didn’t.

While Matchbook Romance puts on a great show (their material is much more aggressive live), it was an opening act that captured my curiosity. For the second time since I’ve lived out here I saw local act Assuming We Survive open for a more “known” band, and for the second time I’m wondering why they aren’t more popular.

Usually when I’m unfamiliar with an act’s catalog, their live show is boring to me. I can’t make out the words and the music itself is a cacophony. Neither of these can be said about Assuming We Survive. They’re a truly talented pop punk act with memorable melodies and brazen breakdowns. On top of that musicality, the lead singer has great stage presence. He was incredibly involved with the crowd throughout the set. He walked around and sang to people, started a circle pit and pulled people into it, and, on the last song, invited the entire crowd on stage.

That last song in particular, Better Without You, should be an iconic genre staple. Take a listen:

(Yes, they get bonus points for the Ducktales inspired logo.)